08 July 2010

Lavender-honey ice cream

So we're toodling through the Little Italy farmer's market, and lo and behold, we encounter a vendor selling fresh lavender.  It smells awesome.  Unlike many flowers, lavender isn't super perfumy.  Perfumey?  Perfumish?  Whatever.  So for $2, I find myself in possession of a lifetime supply of fresh lavender (or at least, more than I can ever use in the few days until they deteriorate).  What to do?  How about lavender-honey ice cream, from David Lebovitz' The Perfect Scoop:
½ cup honey
¼ cup fresh lavender flowers
1 ½ cups whole milk
¼ cup sugar
pinch salt
1 ½ cups heavy cream
5 large eggs
Remove the eggs from the fridge, and bring to room temperature.

Pull the lavender flowers off the stems (this is accomplished quite easily by running your fingers down the stem from top to bottom).  Measure out the flowers.

Fresh lavender flowers

Heat honey with ½ lavender, just until bubbles start to form in the honey.  Remove from the heat, and let sit an hour or so to extract some of that tasty lavenderness.  It looks kinda grotey, but it's tasty.

Lavender infused honey

Put the cream in a bowl.  Rewarm the honey a tad (just to make it runny), and pour it through a sieve into the cream.  Squish those lavender chunkies with a spoon or spatula to get out as much tastiness as possible.

Meanwhile, warm the milk sugar and salt until the sugar and salt dissolve, and the milk is hot.  Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites, and beat the egg yolks into a lovely bright yellow foam.

Add the warm milk to the yolks, a wee bit at a time, mixing constantly.  You're making an emulsion here, so to keep it from breaking, you have to add the milk slowly (particularly at the beginning).  I always find this part hard to photograph, (basically impossible if I'm alone in the kitchen), so see older posts on ice cream for pics of this part.  It's basically the same for any custard.

Put the egg yolk mix back on the stove, and heat, stirring constantly over medium-low heat.  This part is easiest with a thermometer (keeps you from curdling the custard). Heat to 175°F. Never stop stirring. At 175°F, the custard should have thickened nicely, shouldn't have curdled, and will be ready for the next step.  Immediately pour the hot custard over the lavender chunkies, into the cool cream.  Mix, and add the remainder of the lavender.

Lavender infused cream

Cool in the fridge overnight.  Sieve out the fresh lavender, and run through your ice cream maker, using the directions for your machine.  For the KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment this means that you've frozen the attachment for at least 24 hours.  Then, you slowly pour in the sieved ice cream mix into a the machine while the beater is stirring on low.

Churning ice cream

Churn for 25ish minutes.  Then scoop into a cold container, and cure in the freezer overnight to finish hardening it.

Honey lavender ice cream

I served this with a wee drizzle of honey on top.

Honey lavender ice cream

What a nice flavour.  The honey smoothes out the lavender flavour, making it a nice, mild dessert.  This might be the best ice cream yet.  And the lavender is such an unusual flavour, that it manages it be striking and mild at the same time.  Very nice, and perfect for a warm summer's day.

Happy Summer.

5 comments:

Meatloaf Recipes said...

very tasty and good recipes. i like all of your recipes post.
thanks for share!

* said...

Delicious!

Amy B. said...

This is interesting, I've never tried lavender ice cream before. Nor have I tried making my own ice cream! Would love to give this a try one time :D Thanks for sharing, I would like to share this to other Foodista readers as well, especially the ice cream lovers! Just add the foodista widget for sugar at the end of this post and it's all set, Thanks!

Dina said...

i would love to try that. it looks so refreshing and lovely!

Bbq Dude said...

Thanks!

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