July 12, 2010


So here's the deal...if you're not a fan of lavender, you're not going to be a fan of this post. It's lavender-swoon-crazy as I'm crazy for lavender. I'm a bit of a fanatic actually. Lavender in its purest form (the bud of course) does something to me that only rivals the neroli blossom. It makes me calm. It makes me happy. Inhaling those lavender vapours just makes me peaceful. It really is true, lavender does have all kinds of medical uses. From headaches/migraines, insomnia, bug bites and even disinfecting walls/floor in World War II, lavender has a multitude of uses. I have many uses for lavender myself. I tend to use lavender for its medical purposes (as a migraine reliever) and also in culinary uses.

Enter honey lavender ice cream. Say what?! Yes, you read that right, honey lavender ice cream and it's more delicious than you think.

Taken from a recipe from Martha Stewart, I spent three hours on Saturday afternoon, making ice cream. It was the first day back to cooking since the heat wave started.

Mise en place:Individual ingredients beginning with 2 cups of whole milk:1/4 cup of dried lavender buds:1/3 cup of honey:5 egg yolks (save the whites for a huge egg-white omelette): 1/4 cup of white sugar:and 1 cup of heavy cream:Simple right? Okay, here go!

(these are my directions, not taken from the MS website. If you want her directions, check out the website)
  1. Place milk, dried lavender and honey in a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover saucepan with a lid and let steep at least 5 minutes. (I went with 10. I like my lavender a LOT.) Strain mixture, reserving flavoured milk and discard dried lavender. Set aside.
  2. Beat egg yolks and sugar with the paddle attachment of a stand-up mixer (or whatever you've got) until thick and pale (about 3-5 minutes).
  3. Add half the milk mixture to the egg yolk mixture and whisk until blended. (You're doing this so that the egg doesn't scramble from the hot milk.) Stir the egg-milk mixture into the remaining milk and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick (coats the back of a wooden spoon). (Note: I was really confused about this part. Like how thick should it be really? But it has to get pretty thick. You'll notice the difference when it happens. But stir constantly. Not a desperate, vigorous stir, just a lazy stir is fine. You just don't want to cook the egg-milk mixture.)
  4. Once thick, remove from heat and immediately stir in cream. Strain into a medium bowl set over an ice bath. Let sit until well-chilled stirring mixture occasionally, about 30 minutes. (There's definitely no harm in letting it sit longer--if you're patient.)
  5. Freeze in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. For my Cusinart Transfer to air-tight container and store for up to 2 weeks.
That last sentence is from Martha's website. You'll see if your ice cream lasts that long...it probably won't--especially if you make yours into ice cream sandwiches. Stay tuned!

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