Wednesday, 29 December 2010
When I was a child, the steps from my house patio to the garden below were overrun with a huge bush of lavender, wands of purple blooms pushing through the wooden fence and across the concrete path. In the summer the bees would mill around the flowers in a frenzy and I would either leap madly down the stairs to avoid getting stung, or quietly sneak onto the top step to watch them busily about their honey-making business.
My mother loved her lavender bush, and I imagine should would have loved the soft elegant flavours of this ice cream.
Made as per Mr Lebovitz’s instructions, it tastes of honey and cream with a light touch of lavender. Made impatiently and over infused, it tastes like a mouthful of Grandma’s soap. Do what you’re told by Mr Lebovitz, and you won’t get your mouth washed out.
This ice cream is from one of my favourite dessert cookbooks and ticks off two 2010 Food Challenges, cooking with lavender and exploring ice cream.
Lavender-Honey Ice Cream
Recipe from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz. Makes around 1 litre.
125ml (½ cup) good quality honey
8g (¼ cup) dried or fresh lavender flowers
375ml (1½ cups) whole milk
50g (¼ cup) sugar
Pinch of salt
375ml (1½ cups) heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1. Heat the honey and 2 tablespoons of the lavender in a small saucepan. Once warm, remove from the heat and set aside to steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
2. Warm the milk, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan.
3. Pour the cream in a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.
4. Pour the lavender-infused honey into the cream through the strainer, pressing on the lavender flowers to extract as much flavour as possible, then discard the lavender and set the strainer back over the cream.
5. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.
6. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to avoid scrambling, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
7. 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.
8. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream.
9. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons lavender flowers and stir until cool over an ice bath. Chill the mixture overnight in the refrigerator.
10. The next day, before churning, strain the mixture, again pressing on the lavender flower to extract their flavour.
11. Discard the flowers, then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.