Red bean ice cream is served in Japanese restaurants and at New York City’s Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, an establishment famous for its multitude of exotic ice cream flavors. Many inferior versions of this recipe contain too little red bean paste, resulting in a creamy but rather bland ice cream. This recipe contains enough paste so that the bean flavor is dominant.
- Yields: About 1 1/2 quarts
- 4 cups plus 2 tablespoons half-and-half
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 1/2 tablespoons tapioca starch or cornstarch
- 2 cups red bean paste
- Pour the 4 cups half-and-half into the top of a double boiler over medium heat.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks in a bowl until the yolks turn thick and pale. Temper the yolks by gradually adding the hot half-and-half mixture a cup at a time while whisking vigorously so as not to scramble the eggs.
- Return the mixture to the top part of the double boiler and whisk over simmering water until slightly thickened and heated through, 10 to 15 minutes. Dilute the tapioca starch with the remaining 2 tablespoons half-and-half and add it to the mixture. Continue whisking to a custard consistency that coats the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes. Transfer the custard to a heatproof bowl and whisk in the red bean paste. Set over an ice bath and refrigerate overnight (or at least 12 hours).
- The next day, pour the custard into an ice cream maker and process the custard according to the manufacturer’s instructions, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the ice cream to a container and freeze until ready to serve.