I’ve been in the U.S. for 15 years; however, I had never tasted Green Tea Ice Cream (Matcha Ice Cream) that is authentic until I found this recipe. I’m really excited to share this recipe with you today!
Häagen-Dazs® Green Tea ice cream is pretty close, but other brands of green tea ice cream that I tasted so far are way too creamy. The Japanese green tea ice cream is not as creamy. It is sweet, but it has very strong matcha taste that is almost bitter. Am I confusing you a bit?
Matcha 抹茶 or green tea powder is NOT the same green tea that you drink at home or Japanese restaurants. So you can’t grind the regular green tea to make matcha. 🙂 It is made from shade-grown tea leaves and used for Japanese tea ceremony and wagashi (Japanese confectioneries).
I use this Japanese brand maeda-en, and their “culinary quality” green tea powder is pretty good (Japanese supermarket sells this for around $7). Just so you know, even for the Japanese, matcha is considered a very expensive ingredient.
When I tasted this ice cream, I was surprised how authentic the taste was and it brought me right back to Japan!! If you know what I’m talking about and miss authentic Japanese green tea ice cream, then this is it! I highly recommend you to make double recipes!
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- 2 cups Half & Half (480 ml) (or 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk + 1 cup (240 ml) heavy (whipping) cream (butterfat 36-38%), See Notes)
- 3 Tbsp matcha (green tea powder) (3 Tbsp = 18 g)
- ½ cup sugar (½ cup = about 100 g)
- Pinch kosher/sea salt (use half for table salt) (about 1/16 tsp)
- Freeze the ice cream bowl for 24 hours.
Gather all the ingredients.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the half and half, sugar and salt.
- Start cooking the mixture over medium heat, and add green tea powder. Stir often and cook until the mixture starts to foam and is very hot to the touch but not boiling.
- Remove from the heat and transfer the mixture to a bowl sitting in an ice bath. When the mixture is cool, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
- Once the mixture is thoroughly chilled, transfer to a pre-chilled ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacture's instructions (20-25 minutes). Transfer the soft ice cream into an airtight container and freeze for at least 3 hours before serving.
Half & Half: It is a mix of ½ whole milk and ½ heavy (whipping) cream. You can purchase it in dairy section of American supermarkets.
Heavy cream or heavy whipping cream contains 36-38% butterfat. It's equivalent to Double Cream in UK.
Equipment you will need:
- Ice cream maker
If you don't have an ice cream maker, check out this post.
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Update: Step-by-step pictures have been updated (March 2014)