For the past several years, July has brought about the annual Oregon Lavender Festival and this year was the largest festival to date. Unfortunately, the baby wouldn’t allow us to go to the festival but we still managed to get a little lavendery goodness by making a homemade batch of Honey Lavender Ice Cream.
If you haven’t had honey lavender ice cream before you are in for a real treat with this one. On first bite, you get the slightly floral taste of the lavender blossoms. Yet, the ice cream has an after taste of honey. We took this ice cream to a friends house for dinner and the flavor descriptions floating around the room would have made one think we were describing the attributes of a fine wine instead of fresh lavender ice cream. This one is definitely a keeper in our book!
The ice cream gets its lavender flavor by steeping dried lavender blossoms in warm cream. Be sure to only use food grade lavender and not arts or crafting lavender. I get my dried lavender at Cost Plus but you can get it in most specialty food stores. This recipe can also be adapted to make vanilla bean ice cream by exchanging a split whole vanilla bean for the dried lavender.
Honey Lavender Ice Cream
Active Prep Time: 20 minutes
Chilling Time: 3-4 hours
Freezing Time: 25-30 minutes
Yield: 1 Quart
Recipe inspired by:
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups half & half
2 tablespoons dried food-grade lavender
2/3 cup honey
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pour the cream and half & half in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until warm. Do not let the mixture come to a boil. You are looking for steam to rise from the pan and the liquid be warm to the touch. Turn off the heat and add lavender to the pan. Cover and let steep for half an hour. After flowers have steeped, strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer and discard the flowers.
Add the honey to the cream mixture and heat on medium low until the honey is dissolved. Again, heat only until it is warm to the touch and do not let the mixture boil.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt. Temper the eggs by stirring in about 1 cup of the warm cream mixture.
Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and cook over medium low heat for five minutes or until it is slightly thick and coats the back of your spoon. You’ll know it is done when your finger leaves a clear line when ran across the back of the spoon.
Pour cream mixture into a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours. Once chilled, freeze ice cream base according to your ice cream maker’s directions.