Thursday, June 29, 2006

Recipe: Lavender Ice Cream

Lavender, originally uploaded by kathyv.
All the lavender talk reminded me that lavender can be used in cooking and baking. It is particularly wonderful in desserts, where its herbal aroma balances out the sweetness.
In the lavender ice cream recipe, the lavender buds lend a warm, almost spicy aroma to the ice cream, almost like a pumpkin pie (because they need to be cooked with the sugar in order to release their aroma, the aroma changes a bit). The cream, milk and vanilla accentuate lavender’s sweet qualities. I think spices like allspice, nutmeg, cloves and even cinnamon would be a good addition to this recipe, and also would be interested in trying to turn it into a Crème Brulee.
I would be curious to try a similar recipe, only flavoured with essential oils of lavender and lemon. I will keep you informed about my experiments with that.

Lavender Ice Cream
1 Cup Sugar
2 Tbs. Lavender Buds, Fresh or Dry
½ Cup Water
1 ½ Cups Milk
3 Large Egg Yolks
2 cup Whipping Cream
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

1. Cook the sugar, water and lavender in a medium sauce-pan over a medium-low heat, and let simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Strain the lavender flowers, and cool down a bit (for 3-5 minutes).
3. Add the egg yolks, and whisk well.
4. Add the milk, and continue to cook while stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to cover the spoon (about 10 minutes).
5. Cool down, add the vanilla and the whipping cream, and refrigerate over night (or at least for 6 hours).
6. Whip the mixture until it becomes very frothy (beating the air into the mixture will ensure that the ice cream will be light in texture, and will also help the freezing process).
7. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

For more delicious lavender recipes and ideas, visit this site.

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