Monday, July 6, 2009

pink teaberry ice cream

it's pink!

if there's one thing i've always loved, it's wintergreen. i grew up chewing those leaves from the wild and if i'm picking minty gum or lifesavers, it's wintergreen flavor above all others. it's no surprise to me, then, that i love teaberry ice cream as much as i do. unfortunately, i've never had it from the store and never been able to find a retailer or ice cream shop outside of PA that carries it. truth be told, i've had it only a dozen or so times on childhood drives to my mom's hometown. but it's a lasting flavor and the memory of it keeps me searching the internet for a local source.

i'm not kidding. i've asked my grocers for a special shipment of the hershey's variety - i swear i'd buy it all if they couldn't sell it to others. if you've never had it, i promise you're missing out. it's a magical pink, with wintergreen flavor, cold and weird and slightly like those pink lozenges (you know, they're 2 for $1, cello bag with a red crinkly label...powdery and chalky and so wintergreeny). so imagine my surprise when, in searching for cotton candy and bubblegum ice cream flavorings (these you just can't whip up with regular ingredients), i came across this teaberry candy oil. you better believe i ponied up the cash for shipping (which is more than the oil itself) and placed an order seconds after finding it.

it's teaberry!

i wanted to make the most basic ice cream base to add in the flavoring and after searching, i came up with a very small batch recipe for testing purposes.

teaberry ice cream
3/4 c whole milk
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c heavy cream
2-3 drops teaberry candy oil (this is potent!)
2-3 drops pink gel color

1. stir sugar into milk until dissolved
2. add in heavy cream and whip slightly
3. add flavor and color, stir to combine
4. pour into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer instructions

the dream that you wish will come true...

and there it was. in my house! my very own homemade teaberry ice cream. i had high, high hopes. full disclosure: i was slightly disappointed. this is not the hershey's teaberry from the roadside shoppe. it's very wintergreeny and possibly a little oily/soapy. maybe i put in too much? it wasn't as though my tongue or throat was on fire that way other strong oils/alcohols tend to cause and i can't imagine that using less would make much of a difference.
it wasn't bad and i ate the whole batch, but it was missing something. something that makes it more candy like.

i'm not giving up (i can't, i have an entire bottle to use up) and will continue to adapt this recipe. if only hershey's would release their secret! hershey' reading this? there is demand! please supply!


Laura said...

My mom would flip a lid if I made this for her. I always remember her chewing Teaberry when I was little...

Erin said...

I've never heard of the flavor, but it does look like a gorgeous color!

Kittybits said...

it looks fantastic though!!! I haven't gotten my teaberry fix for the summer yet... I'd better get on that.
we should definitely start a campaign to bother Hershey's until they pony up ; )

anna said...

Ooh, it's so pink! A shame it's not perfect but it certainly looks good. I just made some chocolate-covered ice cream pops with homemade wintergreen ice cream. Very refreshing and perfect in the summer!

Thomas said...

I love the background swirly photobox paper. It's so dreamalicious. I think when I had it, it was missing like a creamy caramel sort of base, like the oil overpowered the cream. I wonder if you can do something where you soak another ingredient in the oil, so it takes on the flavor, and then use that soaking ingredient in the actual recipe?

It was still yummy though, to someone who didn't know the original!

Tami (Pixeltrash) said...

We had this when I was a kid! I wonder who made it. I'm sure we bought it in the grocery store. I grew up in PA too, but I didn't think about it until I saw yours.

I have had teaberry gum though. Some candy stores do sell the old fashioned (like licorice and sour cherry) gums. The teaberry is still yummy!

Anonymous said...

Penn State Creamery makes a Teaberry flavor as well, only during the Summer, which far surpasses the Hershey's kind.

I recently bought the same oil to try to make the flavor at home. The trick is to NOT use a basic recipe with a little bit of Teaberry, that makes the oil stand out too much. You want to make a vanilla recipe and add teaberry to it, preferably one using condensed milk and eggs, and the creaminess and vanilla will balance out the teaberry to make it perfect. Penn State adds vanilla to theirs as well.

Hope the next batch goes better, looks like you did a great job churning though.

Anonymous said...

Teaberry is the devil's tool. It's vile and should never be replicated. Dingel is a slightly better choice. Long lived Cheddar!

Anonymous said...

I think the previous poster is absurd! I would make sweet love to teaberry ice cream if possible. I love it in a weird way. Not only is it the greatest ice cream in the world it cured my nausea, heartburn, diarhhea, and upset stomach.

Anonymous said...

Hello All. Every weekend, I hike near the Appalachian Trail in Southern PA, and watch for the teaberries to ripen. This was a good weekend for harvesting (early-mid October). I found a "mother lode." I collected 3/4 cup in about an hour. I pass thousands of plants on my hikes, but those that yield berries are rare. I am going to try a recipe for teaberry ice cream that I saw on, where you soak the berries in milk overnight. It calls for 1/2 pound, so I will have to make a lesser batch.

If you pick them, be careful because there is a tea berry look-alike. Teaberry plants have smooth edged green leaves with no stripes. They are also typically about 1/2 inch off the ground. Also, if you pop one in your mouth, you will recognize that wintergreen taste immediately.

Weis Markets carries Carnival brand teaberry ice cream. It's a cheap line, but the ice cream is amazingly delicious and brings back good memories. We will see if I can do as well with the real thing!


Erin said...

whoever said this: "the trick is to NOT use a basic recipe with a little bit of Teaberry, that makes the oil stand out too much," etc is so right...I make teaberry ice cream all the time using my vanilla ice cream recipe
a local store by my house sells teaberry extract, which works way better than teaberry oil and I just add in about half a bottle, a little pink dye, and perfect!

Ron Knorr, PhD said...

You hit it on the head that the candy extract is very strong. I made a vanilla custard into teaberry custard. One drop and add to taste is best for a recipe that size. That said, we were in PA this week and had Hersey's and it is also strong. Thanks for the info.

patriciaberrypie said...

The only place I've ever found teaberry ice cream in in PA as well. I got teaberry gum once in WV too, but I cannot find the teaberry oil anywhere.

Brenda Chasse said...

To the person that said teaberry is the devil's tool and vile...what freaking planet are you on. Teaberry ice cream is awesome!!!!!! Vile...haha...get a grip...and a LIFE!!!

Jeffrey Reehl said...

Are you from the Tamaqua , Pa. area, if so or not you got too try Heisler's teaberry ice cream it's the tops , been eating it ever since the early 60's

Anonymous said...

I checked with Turkey Hill dairy and they said they make it too, but won't ship it to Colorado. :( not sure where they sell their ice cream in PA outside of Lancaster. My favorite ice cream too. My grandpa would take us up to Neidig's dairy Central PA to get some fresh. We bought it at Weis' too.

Anonymous said...

so I buy teaberry candies , they are little hard red balls sorta like sprinkles but bigger , I melt them with a little water and it makes teaberry sauce . I mix that in vanilla or a ice cream machine and get tea berry ice cream. but I live in central pa too lol.

Unknown said...

My mom makes it with the little pink teaberry candies! 100% from scratch in an ice cream machine! Best ice cream ever! I'm currently enjoying a bowl right now!