Tuesday, 3 July 2012
Lavender Ice Cream
A few days ago I made a lemon lavender pound cake which was to die for (stay tuned for the recipe!). The two flavours married in a perfect, flowery/peppery/citrus harmony. Nothing makes me happier than this sort of culinary particularity and perfection, this gustatory harmony. It is hard to decribe its taste- sort of floral, a little peppery, earthy and ethereal. It tastes decadent, lavish and a little bit forbidden. At the first taste, my heart pounds a little either from anticipation, intoxication, or because it tastes so rare.
I must have more lavender infused food.
I purchased this lovely harvest of lavender at Earth's General Store. It is $74/ kg, which sounds outrageous, but lavender is so light, that you'd likely need a truck to carry home a kg worth. In any case, buy organic dried lavender, or dry it yourself from your garden (mine isn't in bloom yet)- make sure that it hasn't been sprayed with any nasty chemicals.
This is how I made the ice cream:
Steep 1 tablespoon of dried lavender leaves in three cups of any combo of heavy cream, half and half, whole milk, skim milk, whatever your desired fat content might be. Don't quite bring the milk/cream to a boil, and stir constantly to avoid scalding.
And hey- while you're at it, use local organic dairy products!
Remove from heat and let cool. Strain the lavender flowers from the milk.
Add honey. Use unpasteurized honey. Why? Because it is good for you. It has precious anti- microbials in it that will keep you healthy. And use local!
Once you have the mixture to your desired sweetness ( you don't have to add any at all, actually), add a dash, and I mean a quick dash of real vanilla/ vanilla bean.
And now pour the mixture into your ice cream maker, or make the ice cream in whatever way you usually do it. This is my simple ice cream maker:
The result is a very flowery, oddly peppery, creamy wonderful spoonful of culinary wonder. But it is potent, almost intoxicating, so don't hunker down over a bowl of it. Use it as a side compliment for chocolate cake or brownie. This was perfect: