A recipe for Green Tea Ice Cream! This Matcha Ice Cream (抹茶アイス) is flavored with powdered green tea for a rich, homemade treat.
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Green Tea Ice Cream is one of my favorite ice cream flavors. It is also one of the first ones I learned how to make! While Matcha Ice Cream is now becoming more readily available across the United States, it was not so easy to locate when I was younger. This recipe is the result of a series of adjustments from the first batch I made many years ago.
If you have experience with making ice cream, this one is fairly easy to put together with only a handful of ingredients. A sweetened milk and cream base is thickened with eggs and combined with sugar, matcha (powdered green tea), and a small pinch of salt. After chilling and churning until thickened and creamy, the mixture is transferred to a freezer-safe container to chill further until the perfect texture for scooping.
I often serve the Green Tea Ice Cream simply on its own, but it is also delicious paired with Anko (Sweet Red Bean Paste) and Shiratama Dango (an ice cream shop near me- Kansha Creamery in Torrance, California- also adds matcha jelly and whipped cream!) to make a Matcha Parfait.
Matcha is a powder created by grinding whole green tea leaves. There are various grades. The higher quality grades are made from the fine, new leaves from the very top of the Camellia sinensis tea plant. The lower culinary grades are fine for cooking and baking.
Be careful when storing matcha. It can become stale and brownish when exposed to oxygen. I have been able to find matcha at the local markets with Japanese ingredients and more recently in the tea section of larger supermarkets. It is also available on Amazon: Maeda-En Culinary Matcha.
A Few Green Tea Ice Cream Tips
Want an even stronger matcha flavor? Bump up the amount closer to 3 tablespoons if desired.
After adding the eggs to thicken the cream, take care to not increase the heat to try to speed up the process. Stir constantly and heat just until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Otherwise, you may end up with cooked, curdled cream.
If the mixture does curdle, I have been able to save ice cream by blending it until smooth in a stand blender or with an immersion blender as a last resort. The result won’t be perfect, but it helps enough to not waste all the ingredients.
I usually skip this step, but to help get a creamier texture and chill the mixture faster you can place the bowl of custard over an ice bath for a few minutes right after it is removed from the stove. Be careful not to get water into the custard. Stir occasionally if you want to speed up the process a bit.
Looking for more recipes with Matcha/Green Tea?
Green Tea Ice Cream Recipe
Adapted from Harumi’s Japanese Home Cooking
Green Tea Ice Cream
- 1 cup (237 milliliters) milk
- 1 cup (237 milliliters) heavy cream
- Pinch salt
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons (12 grams) matcha green tea powder
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, heavy cream, and pinch salt over medium heat. Once hot, but not boiling, reduce heat to medium-low.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until light. Sift in the matcha and whisk to thoroughly combine.
- While continuing to beat the sugar and eggs, slowly pour in a tablespoon of the heated milk and cream. Once incorporated, slowly stream in and whisk another 1/2 cup. Slowly pour the mixture back into the saucepan over medium-low heat while whisking.
- Cook while continuing to stir until just thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, 170-180˚F (77-82˚C).
- Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a heat-safe bowl. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, a few hours to overnight.
- Transfer the chilled mixture to an ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer's instructions. Once thickened and creamy, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm, about 2 hours.