If I had to eat only one food for the rest of my life, I think I’d choose ice cream. I’ll gladly devour any flavor, from roasted beet to plain old vanilla, fancy artisanal versions or DQ soft serve (remember “dip cones?”)… I’m pretty obsessed with it all. Since we’re still feeling summertime temps here in Austin, I’m holding onto ice cream season, though this seasonal Chai flavor at least makes me feel in a more fall frame of mind. Considering my fanaticism, it might come as a surprise that I don’t own an ice cream maker. Though I’ve considered buying one many times through the years, the minimalist in me just doesn’t want to add one more appliance to our kitchen. I stumbled upon this genius and ridiculously simple method of making ice cream, then tweaked the recipe and flavors a bit, experimenting until I got it just right. For example, don’t make the same mistake that I did and warm up the cream to infuse the tea bag. After the whipping/freezing process, it resulted in a mealy texture that got tossed in the trash. The 1-hour cold steeping method yields just a light chai flavor without being overpowering, and maintains the smooth creamy texture we’re looking for.And I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a shout-out to this heavenly Dulce de Leche sauce that you’re going to want to pour over everything and eat out of the container with a spoon. I can’t even begin to describe it’s addictive flavor, so my recommendation is to just make it and keep in a jar in the fridge, at the ready for when cravings strike.*all photos by kate lesueur
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 2 chai tea bags
- seeds from 1 vanilla bean pod
- 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk, room temperature
- sliced almonds, lightly toasted
for the dulce de leche sauce:
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- Place the cream in the bowl of a standing mixer, add the chai tea bags, and allow to steep in the fridge for an hour.
- Remove from fridge and discard the tea bags. Add the vanilla bean seeds to the bowl, and using the whisk attachment, beat the cream on medium-high until soft peaks form.
- Place the condensed milk in a large bowl, then gently fold in the cream. Pour the entire mixture into an airtight container, then place in the freezer for at least 5 hours.
- Meanwhile, make the dulce de leche sauce: In a saucepan, combine cream and brown sugar. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves, then boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in sweetened condensed milk. (if you make it ahead of time, chill in the fridge, then lightly rewarm before using.)
- Dish out the ice cream straight from the freezer, drizzle with dulce de leche, and sprinkle with sliced toasted almonds. Eat!
*dulce de leche sauce recipe adapted from bon appétit.