The is the fourth frozen treat that the Sunday Slow Scoopers are attempting from David Lebovitz's the Perfect Scoop. The recipe for Lavender Honey Ice Cream is found on p 64 of the book. This recipe was selected by Nancy. Yet again it is a recipe that I likely wouldn't have selected on my own but am glad that I made it. We thought that the flavour combination of lavender and honey was particularly sophisticated (which is why I had to serve it in a waffle cone!)
I first had lavender ice cream in May when we dined at I Caffi in Acqui Terme. For dessert we received a small chocolate cake, alongside it was a chocolate bowl in which was nestled a scoop of lavender ice cream. It was great but Lebovitz's version was even better.
I am a bit leery of cooking with lavender because I find that things often end up tasting like 'soap' and are heavily perfumed. Happily this ice cream had none of that. The lavender flavour was delicate making this a smooth, complex flavoured treat.
Lavender-Honey Ice Cream
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup dried lavender flowers
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 egg yolks
Heat the honey and 2 tbs lavender in a small saucepan. When warmed, remove from the heat and allow to steep for 1 hour.
Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a saucepan.
Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. Pour the lavender-infused honey into the strainer, pressing on the flowers in the strainer to extract as much of the flavour as possible. Note - this will be extremely messy if your strainer has too fine a mesh! Discard the lavender flowers, clean the strainer, and set it back over the cream.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the warm egg yolk mixture back into the pan.
Stir the mixture constantly over a medium heat with a heat-proof spatula until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer into the cream and honey mixture. Add the remaining 2 tbs of lavender flowers.
Cool in an ice bath.
Chill overnight in the refrigerator. The next day, before churning, strain the mixture again to remove the lavender flowers. Press on the flowers in the strainer to extract as much of the flavour as possible. Discard the flowers.
Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.