There's something strangely wholesome about the ingredients for this recipe (except the cookies, which I only resorted to buying because there's no way I'm turning on the oven in this weather!)
Steeping the lavender in milk and honey. The kitchen smelled amazing:
You don't have to strain out the flowers but dried lavender blooms can look a little disconcerting (read: not unlike bugs) in food:
Getting ready to mix the egg yolks and sugar (hint: you can freeze excess egg whites in ice cube trays for use in other recipes later):
Action shot as the mixer does its thing:
Mixed until pale and thickened:
The lavender milk and the egg yolk mixture get simmered until it coats the back of a wooden spoon. But I didn't see much of a difference between the beginning of the process...
...and when I finally took it off the heat. The liquid on the spoon was slightly less watery and more clingy. I don't know if I took it off the heat too soon but the recipe was vague and I didn't want to accidentally make pudding.
I tried to get some shots of the ice cream being made. This is still the liquid stage:
And here it is thickened and looking a lot more like ice cream. I let the machine work for about 40 minutes:
Ready at last, served with a couple of lemon cookies and a sprig of lavender from my garden! It was amazing how fast it melted, though--makes you wonder what they do to the commercial stuff...
Honey Lavender Ice Cream
Makes about 1 quart
[My notes/changes in brackets]
In a medium saucepan, combine milk, lavender, and honey. Bring to a gentle boil, cover, and remove from heat. Let steep for 5 minutes. Strain mixture, reserving milk and discarding lavender.
- 2 cups whole [homogenized, in Canada] milk
- 1/4 cup dried [organic] lavender
- 1/3 cup honey [get the good stuff]
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy [aka whipping] cream
Combine egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until very thick and pale yellow, 3 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, return milk to a medium saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
Add half the milk to egg-yolk mixture, and whisk until blended. Stir mixture into remaining milk, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Remove from heat, and immediately stir in cream. Strain mixture into a medium mixing bowl set in an ice-water bath, and let stand until chilled [skip the ice water bath and just stick the bowl in the fridge], stirring from time to time. Freeze in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Store in an airtight plastic container up to 2 weeks.
Original recipe here [and no, I didn't see their photo until after I'd taken my own!]
The ice cream is sweet and delicately flavoured (although it's a little too sweet for me and not quite delicate enough for my SO, who found the lavender too strong--although he also added that it wouldn't stop him from eating it). You can work with the recipe so try experimenting (more/less sugar/honey, shorter/longer steeping time, replacing lavender with another flavour...) to get it exactly the way you want it. That said, this was a lot of work, expense (cream isn't cheap) and dirty dishes. And you need an ice cream maker. While I would make this again I have come to the conclusion that I'll only be making ice cream that I can't find commercially (in other words, unusual flavours and combinations). It's just not worth the effort to make my own vanilla (for example) when I can just run down the street and buy high-quality ice cream for less than it would cost to make. It is satisfying and fun to make your own...but only to a point.
Want to see what else I've made for my 2011 baking project?
January: Double-Chocolate Brownies
February: Angel Food Cake with Raspberry Sauce
March: Chewy Chocolate-Gingerbread Cookies
April: Raspberry-Swirl Cheesecake
June: Cake Doughnuts
June: Espresso Yourself
Photos by Domicile