7.23.2010

Honey Lavender Ice Cream

I've seen this flavor combination pop up here and there over the last several years, and being a fan of both, it has always sounded like it would be right up my alley. Recently, while watching Merryl Streep make it for Steve Martin in It's Complicated, I nearly got up from the couch in an effort to attempt it right then and there. The impulse passed and I didn't act on it, but the timing this week was perfect as Dan and I decided to cut out refined sugar for a couple of weeks. I've never sweetened ice cream with honey before and let me just say this: wow. There is something about using a liquid sweetener (honey, maple, agave, etc.) rather than granulated sugar that changes the composition, resulting in the most deliciously creamy and smooth ice cream you've ever tasted. Be warned, though - there is a caveat...this ice cream will not freeze as well as homemade ice cream usually does. For those of you who like your ice cream hard (like ME), you must know that this ice cream will be softer than your typical liking. However, I found the flavor and texture to be so delightful that I really didn't mind, and that's saying a lot. I've happily bent many a spoon on hard ice cream in my day. I did end up freezing the ice cream overnight to make it scoopable, instead of the standard two to three hours after churning I usually go for, and it was delicious. If you like a softer style ice cream, you will think you have died and gone to ice cream heaven and want to eat it right away.


                    1/2 cup honey
                    1/4 cup dried lavender
                    4 egg yolks
                    2 cups milk
                    1 cup heavy cream

Bring the milk, cream, honey, and lavender to a gentle boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and let steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain and let cool a bit.

In a separate medium bowl, beat the egg yolks, then gradually add some of the warm milk mixture, whisking as you pour.  Pour the warmed eggs back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain again into a bowl.

Set the bowl over a large bowl of ice water. Stir the custard until cool, then cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (3 hours or overnight).

Freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.



Makes about 1 quart.

5 comments:

  1. What a gorgeous ice cream. I bet it tastes just as gorgeous! I have a huge lavender bush and am always looking for great ideas! Thanks!

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  2. I just tried this ice cream and it's gorgeous - bursting with flavor and so creamy! Thanks for sharing! I just put it up on my blog - http://sweettoothcraving.blogspot.in/2012/04/honey-lavender-ice-cream.html.

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  3. This was a great recipe except that I think 2 heaping tbs of lavender is enough. The first batch I made I used the 1/4 cup and it had an odd bitterness, like when you make lavender tea and it's too strong. The second time I made it the lavender was still a nice strong flavour but there was no bitter taste. I love lavender chocolate bars, so I made a quick chocolate ribbon to swirl through this ice cream (choc chips, butter, milk in double boiler until its a thin sauce, put in fridge to thicken and cool, then swirl in to soft ice cream). I tried lots of different recipes and this one is simple and delicious! highly recommended

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    Replies
    1. Oh, also buy some nice new organic dried lavender -- a friend made some with old dried lavender from her cupboard and it didn't have near a nice of flavour as mine

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    2. Wow, thanks for sharing! Yes, I agree - you don't want the lavender to be too overpowering. Will have to try the chocolate recommendation. I love that flavor combination also! Thanks again!

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