I have wanted to make lavender ice-cream for soooooooooooo long. Every picture I had seen intrigued me: the color, the flavor. Maybe because purple is my favorite color? Because I’ve always wanted to run through fields of lavender? Because I’m interested to know who first thought of using lavender in cooking? Shall I go on?
I set off on a hunt for lavender here in Mexico, truthfully, with no expectations. So imagine my surprise when I found an extra-large bag of it in one of the specialty stores in town that caters to restaurants!!! But there was no price on it. In my experience, that usually isn’t a good sign. When I found out the price, I saw that it was a TAD over my budget. And anyway, did I really need 20 cups of dried lavender? (That’s what I said to comfort myself). I’m always afraid that the Mexican humidity is going to ruin things here so it’s rare i buy things in bulk. Unless they’re canned of course.
So my trusty next visitor came to the rescue. Fortunate for me, it was my Montreal foodie buddy, so the request for lavender would more likely be met with “oooo what are you doing with it?” instead of ‘where-ever am I supposed to find that?”
I was right. She was happy to find it for me, and interested in what I was going to do with it. I must say, when she did arrive, I was happy to see her, but inside was wondering if she had remembered to bring it? When could I ask? As I was hugging her hello? Would that be rude? I held off and was rewarded. Besides, she used to live here too, so she knows the joy and sometimes impatience that comes with waiting for presents and treats from home and wanted to put me out of my misery.
I only wish
she didn’t break my heart by moving away that I could have taste-tested this with her. Sigh. There’s just never enough time.
I had seen a lot of recipe with lavender and honey, which I also used and lessened the amount of refined sugar, but the idea of the tea intrigued me, mostly because my husband loves when things are ‘less sweet’, so any ingredient that might have that effect gets noted.
The result was … perfect. I don’t know why it turned out so smooth and swirly, but I’m not complaining. I added purple food coloring because yes, it is my favorite color, but of course, you don’t have to, it’s just for looks.
Then again, we do a lot of things for looks, don’t we? We clean ourselves up every day to look presentable. I painted my daughter’s nursery when she was born purple because I could.
So I’m keeping the purple. That way if anybody tries to steal the last bite they can’t say “but I didn’t know it was yours mom!”.
They’ll just know.
- 3 TAB dried lavender
- 2 earl grey tea bags
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 1/2 cups whipping cream
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 5 egg yolks
Boil 1 cup of water. Add lavender and tea bags to it and let steep for about an hour. Strain out lavender and remove tea bags and let cool if tea is still warm. You should be left with about 2/3 cup of liquid.
In a medium saucepan, heat cream, milk, and sugar until it starts to simmer around the edges. In a separate bowl, whisk the 5 egg yolks. Slowly pour about 1/2 cup of hot liquid into the yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan and, stirring constantly with a flat-bottomed wooden spoon, cook about 7-8 minutes, or until liquid coats the back of the spoon (run your finger through it and if it leaves a line, it’s done). Remove from heat. Add honey and tea/lavender liquid. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate a few hours or overnight.
Churn ice cream as directed. Transfer mixture to freezer safe dish and cover.
Makes 2 pints.