Black Currant Tea Ice Cream

By David Lebovitz

There’s something about the slightly smoky, potent, and fruity flavor of black currant tea that makes it the perfect complement to chocolate (see Perfect Pairings, below). But if black currants aren’t your cup of tea, substitute another aromatic infusion, such as Earl Grey, scented with bergamot, or smoky oolong instead.

makes about 1 quart (1 liter)


1 cup (250 ml) whole milk

2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream

3/4 cup (150 g) sugar

1/4 cup (15 g) loose black currant tea leaves

5 large egg yolks


  1. Warm the milk, 1 cup (250 ml) of the cream, sugar, and tea leaves in a medium saucepan. Cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.

  2. Rewarm the tea-infused milk. Pour the remaining 1 cup (250 ml) cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

  3. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer into the cream, pressing gently on the tea leaves to extract the maximum flavor from them, then discard the leaves. Stir until cool over an ice bath.

  4. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Directions for Perfect Pairings

  1. Make Black Currant Tea and Chocolate Truffle Ice Cream by adding Dark Chocolate Truffles (page 211), or swirl this ice cream with Fudge Ripple (page 210) to make Black Currant Tea and Fudge Ripple Ice Cream.