Rooibos Tahini Ice Cream

Rooibos Tahini Ice Cream | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Rooibos Tahini Ice Cream | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Rooibos Tahini Ice Cream | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Rooibos Tahini Ice Cream | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Rooibos Tahini Ice Cream | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Rooibos Tahini Ice Cream | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

A week before Christmas I almost cut off a large chunk of the tip of my thumb. I won’t get into the gory details, but here’s what I’ll say: don’t rush, and be careful when it comes to the combination of frozen produce and very sharp new knives. Ok? The next day, our refrigerator broke. It took two days to get someone to come look at it, and now we are waiting until January 8th for a part to come which will hopefully (please please please) fix it. In the meantime, we had two coolers outside plus a very mini fridge in our basement, plus a kind-of working refrigerator that our friend graciously gave to us. Did I mention that we were not only hosting Christmas dinner but also had my in-laws staying with us for the week?

Anyway, we got through all of this just fine. We got through it well, in fact. There were no stitches or trips to the emergency room, just lots of gauze and finger cots and trips up and down our basement stairs and re-freezing ice packs. And at the end of all of this (well, technically it’s not the end since our fridge is still busted and my finger is still bandaged up), an ice cream maker appeared on our doorstep. It was one of those times when you rack your brain to remember, “What the heck was my latest Amazon purchase?” But no, it was just my wonderful father-in-law. Maybe it was an additional Christmas present or a very nice host gift. My mother-in-law is one of my only family members who religiously reads this blog, so I’m sure she’ll show this to him, and hopefully, it will make him smile.

Of course, then I had my in-laws in mind when I was thinking of what recipe would be the first in my newest kitchen addition. I was researching and researching recipe ideas, feeling frustrated that I couldn’t quite find what I wanted, and then this one popped into mind. You see, my mother-in-law was the one who got me drinking rooibos tea. I had tried it before, but it wasn’t until my regular trips to Chicago, sitting around sharing a pot, using her cute little strainer, that I started really liking it. It’s now a staple in my tea collection and one that we drank a lot of while they were here. And because I can’t leave anything alone, I decided to add tahini, bringing a sweet nuttiness to the earthy flavor of the tea. You can make this without the tahini, and it would be good. But I recommend trying the combination – I think they suit each other.

Rooibos Tahini Ice Cream

Makes 1 quart | Note: You need to use minimum 1/3 cup of tahini, as noted below. You’ll see though that I’ve listed an optional 1 tbsp – Taste your custard after adding 1/3 cup and, if you’d like more tahini flavor, add another 1 tbsp.


1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup rooibos tea
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp honey
kosher salt
2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup (+ an optional 1 Tbsp) tahini


In a saucepan on the stove, heat milk until it starts steaming a bit, but isn’t yet boiling. Remove from heat, add tea, and let steep for 5-7 minutes.

Once the tea has steeped, strain the tea-milk into a liquid measuring cup or other small bowl or vessel and let it come to room temperature or just warm to the touch. Rinse out the saucepan. In the same pan, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, honey, and a pinch of salt. Add the cream and the tea-milk, and whisk again. Put the pan over medium-low heat and cook gently, stirring often, until the custard has thickened slightly and coats the back of a spoon (when you drag your finger across the coated spoon, it should leave a mark that doesn’t fill in too quickly). Remove from heat and whisk in tahini. Chill the custard either in an ice bath or in the fridge.

Once your custard is chilled, churn it according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Mine went for about 20 minutes in a Cuisinart ICE-21.


One comment

  1. I think I will have to try this!

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