Hot Pepper and Citrus “Tea” Ice Cream

Jalapeños are the most popular chile peppers in the US. This is probably due to the availability and versatility of the chile. Jalapeños have a balanced combination of flavor and heat. The demand for these have caused breeders to develop a broad range of varieties.

Heat Scale
Submit Recipe

Yields 2 Pints


  • 1/2 small serrano or jalapeno pepper, roasted
  • poblano pepper, roasted
  • 1 1/2cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2cups heavy cream
  • cup light muscovado sugar (or light brown as substitute)
  • lime, unsprayed if possible
  • grapefruit, unsprayed
  • large egg yolks
  • teaspoon Campari, optional
  • Aleppo pepper flakes, optional garnish
  • Maldon salt flakes, optional garnish
  • Crushed salted pistachios, optional garnish


  1. If you want a more pronounced pepper flavor (and color) leave the skins, seeds, and membranes in tact. For a more mellow flavor, then remove them. Cut them into slivers. You may want to chill a large bowl at this point or prepare what you will need for the ice bath in step 4.
  2. Heat the milk, 1/2 cup of the cream, sugar, and the roasted peppers together in a medium saucepan. Zest the lime and the grapefruit directly into the pan. Do not boil! Once heated, remove from the burner, cover, and let brew at room temperature for 1 hour.
  3. Then reheat the mixture in the pan, but do not boil. Whisk the egg yolks in a large measuring cup or small bowl. Whisk about 1/2 cup of the warm mixture in with the yolks. Then constantly whisking, add the warmed yolks into the pan. Stir the mixture carefully over medium heat to prevent scorching. Add the Campari, if you like. Stir until thickened to a custard consistency, thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
  4. In a large bowl over an ice bath pour (or a chilled bowl) in the remaining cup of cream. Set up a fine mesh strainer over that bowl. Pour the warm custard mix through the strainer. Stir this in together with the cream. Chill completely in the refrigerator. Process in your ice cream maker.
  5. To serve add a garnish of Aleppo pepper on top. Optionally, top off with a few Maldon salt flakes or crushed pistachios with this if you like.

Recipe from Food52, 2011