You’ve seen the pale yellow ice cream truck. It’s become a Brooklyn icon, as has their Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream store at 632 Manhattan Avenue. Started in 2008 by brothers Ben and Peter Van Leeuwen and Ben’s wife, Laura O’Neill, the company uses only natural ingredients to make egg yolk-heavy, custard-based flavors ranging from perennial favorites chocolate and vanilla to classy, creamy Earl Grey Tea. Summer fantasies can be indulged early with toppings of homemade hot fudge, caramel sauce and fresh whipped cream.
When not experimenting with new tastes, the eco-conscious family business makes sure it leaves as small a carbon footprint as possible. Spoons, cups, napkins and straws are made from renewable resources and a percentage of their profits are donated to Wildlife Direct, a Congo-based organization devoted to protecting critically endangered species.
Earl Grey Tea Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream
2 and 1/3 cups whole milk
1 & 1/4 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
3 Earl Grey Tea Bags
1. Steep tea bags with milk and cream over medium heat until fully flavored.
2. Discard tea bags and stir in ¾ cups sugar until dissolved.
3. Whisk 6 egg yolks in a separate bowl with the remaining sugar
4. Slowly add 1 cup of the warm milk/cream mix to the eggs yolks while whisking (this tempers the eggs yolks and avoids a scramble!), then combine all mix and bring to a medium low heat.
5. Stir constantly and as the mix starts to thicken, test consistency with back of spoon by running your finger through it. If the gap on the spoon stays separated, it is ready to be cooled.
6. Transfer mix to an ice bath and stir for a few minutes to stop the cooking process.
7. Refrigerate overnight (or for at least 3 hours)
8. Pour mix into a home ice cream maker and churn until it reaches soft serve consistency. At this point you can either enjoy or put into the freezer to harden further.
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