if you’ve been following my blog, you know by now how much i love ice cream. and i’m not exaggerating when i say that i think this is the best ice cream i’ve ever had. it is rich and creamy, as all ice creams should be, but the flavors add a level of complexity that i don’t think i’ve ever found in ice cream before.
i wanted to make another recipe that would highlight the lavender that my friend jules gave me. someone had mentioned to me that they had once had an amazing lavender ice cream, and that sounded like a pretty good idea. but i didn’t want to just add lavender to a plain old ice cream – i wanted to really highlight the lavender’s beautiful floral quality without making ice cream that just tasted like flowers. so, i decided to sweeten my ice cream with honey instead of sugar.
it was a great move. i started with david lebovitz’s vanilla ice cream recipe, but made changes throughout to highlight both the honey and the lavender. the final product was a smooth, rich, creamy ice cream with just the right amount of sweetness and complex flavors. the sweetness from the honey is delicate and floral, as is the subtle flavor of the lavender, which sort of lingers in your mouth as the ice cream melts away.
if you’ve never tasted lavender before, then you’re probably having a hard time imagining what this ice cream tastes like… and i’m not sure how to explain it other than to tell you to do yourself a favor and make it for yourself. it is so, so good.
an unbelievably delicate and complex ice cream full of the floral notes of honey and lavender.
- 1 cup whole milk
- a pinch of salt
- ½ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons dried lavender
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 5 egg yolks
- combine the milk, salt, honey, and lavender in a medium saucepan. heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring, until it just barely comes to a simmer. remove the pot from the heat, cover it, and let it sit to infuse for an hour.
- meanwhile, put the heavy cream in a medium bowl with a mesh strainer over the top.
- re-warm the milk mixture over low heat and mix the egg yolks in a small bowl. very slowly and stirring constantly, pour ½ to 1 cup of the milk mixture into the yolks. pour this mixture back into the pot with everything else. continue to cook the custard over low heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- carefully strain the custard into the heavy cream. stir everything together, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and put it in the fridge until it has chilled completely.
- freeze the custard in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.