Southern Mint Iced Tea Gelato

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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