Monday, April 19, 2010

Lavender & Honey Ice Cream

Ever since I watched the movie "It's Complicated" I've been dreaming of making lavender and honey ice cream. I wondered how lavender must taste. So I searched for the ultimate lavender and honey ice cream recipe online. But just then I received my ordered copy of "The Perfect Scoop" by David Lebovitz and he had a recipe for it! Perfect.

This is the first ice cream I made from the book and it won't be the last. I never imagined that honey and lavender would make such a delightful pairing!


Lavender and Honey Ice Cream
Adapted from David Lebovitz
Makes about 1 quart (1 Liter)

1/2 cup good-flavored honey
1/4 cup dried or fresh lavender flowers
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks

Heat the honey and 2 tbsp of the lavender in a small saucepan. Once warm, remove from the heat and set aside to steep at room temperature for 1 hour.

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. Pour the lavender-infused honey into the cream through the strainer, pressing on the lavender flowers to extract as much flavor as possible, then discard the lavender and set the strainer back over the cream.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Add the remaining 2 tbsp lavender flowers and stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture overnight in the refrigerator. The next day, before churning, strain the mixture, again pressing on the lavender flowers to extract their flavor. Discard the flowers, then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

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