Yield: approximately 2 quarts

4 cups half-and-half
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 family-size tea bags
½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 egg yolks
Garnish: blackberries, fresh mint, fresh lavender


1. In a medium saucepan, combine half-and-half, brown sugar, lemon juice, tea bags, reserved vanilla seeds, and vanilla. Heat over medium-high heat until mixture just begins to boil; remove from heat.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks until smooth. Using a ladle, pour 1 cup hot cream mixture in a slow steady stream into yolks, whisking constantly. Add another 1 cup cream mixture, whisking to combine. Transfer mixture back to saucepan.

3. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon or until mixture registers 170° on a deep-frying/candy thermometer. Pour mixture through a mesh sieve, and strain into a stainless-steel bowl set in an ice-water bath. Let cool completely, stirring often.

4. Freeze in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. If a firmer texture is desired, transfer ice cream to an airtight container, and freeze until firm, approximately 2 hours. Garnish with blackberries, mint, and lavender, if desired.