Southern Mint Iced Tea Gelato

Categories: Dessert | Sweet Treats

[24 Jun 2010 | By | 9 Comment(s) ]
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Nothing cools me off better in the Summertime than Iced Tea!  With a lovely sprig of mint, maybe?  This was my inspiration for combining the refreshing taste of iced tea with the decadence of gelato…  It’s a fabulous fresh combination that a little unusual, and perfect for summer.  Why gelato instead of ice cream?  Why not!? It’s lower in fat, and I’d never made it before!  This came out as good as I’d hoped it would, although next time I think I’ll incorporate a little lemon zest, because Iced Tea needs lemon, right?

Plan ahead, because you’ll need to start 2 days before you want your finished product!


  • 2 cups milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • ~3/4 c mint sprigs, loosely packed
  • Several tea bags (or 1 large tea bag)


Day 1: Infuse the milk with Mint

Crush your mint leaves in your hands to release the flavors, and place in a container with 2 cups milk.  Let sit overnight.

If you’re using an ice cream maker that requires freezing the bowl (like my Kitchen Aid) go ahead and freeze your bowl.

Day 2: Make  your custard and infuse with Tea:

Strain milk to remove mint leaves (wash the leave off, they’ll still be good in iced tea!).  Heat milk and cream on stovetop until bubbles are just forming around the of your pot.

Combine egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of your mixer and beat thoroughly.  Slowly add the hot milk mixture, a little bit at a time, continuing to stir.  When the all the milk has been added and the mixture is combined, return to the pot.  Cook over medium heat until mixture reaches 160 degrees, or had thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (if this confuses you, check out this info, with photos).

[continued below photos]

Remove from heat, strain into a container for your refrigerator, and add 2 tea bags.  Place in refrigerator.  Check the tea bags in about 30 minutes, swirl around, and stir to see how much ‘tea’ your getting.  It’s a matter of taste and somewhat trial and error.  Taste the custard, and either remove the bags, or leave them in.  Also, if you think you need more mint, add back in your mint sprigs, and let them sit overnight as well.

Refrigerate overnight.  (For my ice cream maker, which is a freezer bowl on my Kitchen Aid, this is required to make sure it’s cold enough – if you’re using an old fashioned icecream maker, or another type of freezer, you may be able to get away with several hours rather than overnight.)

Day 3:  Make Gelato!

Strain your custard, and place in your ice cream maker (assuming your don’t actually own a gelato maker, of course).  Use the lowest speed possible–gelato ideally should be made at a lower speed, incorporating less air than icecream, to achieve it’s texture.   Freeze until a soft serve consistency is reached.

Either serve immediately if you like–it reminds me of homemade icecream when I was a kid!–, or freeze for several hours to a more typical solid consistency.

Garnish with a sprig of mint, and enjoy!

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  • More on cooking custards here.
  • Mint soaking idea from here.
  • Basic gelato recipe from here.

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Submitted by: Dot | | More by

I'm sorta a crafty nerdy cook, who is layered... like pie.
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9 Comment(s) »

  • Memoria said:

    Bookmarked!! this looks great!

  • Carolyn Jung said:

    Now, THIS is the way I want to enjoy my refreshing ice tea! ;)
    Sure beats the stuff in a glass piled high with ice cubes.

  • Dot
    Dot said:

    Next week we’re going to try Mint Julep Gelato :)

  • Michelle said:

    What a refreshing idea. I can easily see adding this to a glass of lemonade for a “float” too. Yum.

  • Dot
    Dot said:

    Excellent idea, Michelle!

  • Breanne said:

    I tried this recipe and the custard curdled on me. Any tips on how to prevent this? First time making ice cream but I’ve made custard pie fillings many times and haven’t had this happen.

  • Dot
    Dot said:

    Sorry to hear of the curdle… what a bummer!

    Not sure at what point you had the issue, but there is nothing really inherently different about this and any other ice cream recipe (as far as curdling), but from what I understand, the custard can curdle if you add the hot liquid to the egg mixture too fast, or if you cook the custard (after adding the eggs) at too high a temperature. So I’d suggest reheating the mixture more slowly to bring it up to temp. You might also try using a thermometer to ensure you are heating to the right temp at both stages (google for the temps, I can’t remember them offhand).

    Check out the link on custard making at the bottom of the post too, they had some good tips.

    Good luck on the next one!

  • Breanne said:

    That was for sure the problem. I tried it a second time heating the milk slower and it worked out perfect. I tried a variation of this recipe to make a Southern sweet tea gelato. I used dark brown sugar instead of white and added a few tablespoons of honey before I put it in the ice cream maker. Delicious!

  • Dot
    Dot said:

    yay! glad to hear it :)

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