Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Honey Lavender Ice Cream

My favorite season is quickly coming to an end and my potted herbs are going with it. This growing season featured basil, rosemary, mint, chives and lavender. Most of these herbs can be used to spruce up nearly every meal of a weekly menu, but what about that darn lavender? Sure it smells and looks nice sitting in your bedroom, but how can you USE it?

Don't ask questions. Just make this. It's fresh, light, and (almost) guilt-free. I usually feel a bit heavy after indulging in a few scoops of ice cream, but for some reason this one's different. Awesomely different. In the words of my snobby, foodie hubby, "it gets better and better with each bite."

Makes about one quart

1 cup half and half
1 cup milk (I used skim)
1/3 cup honey
5 egg yolks
1/4 cup white sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup dried lavender

In a saucepan, combine milk, half and half, lavender and honey. Bring to a gentle boil, cover, and remove from heat. Let sit sit for five minutes. Strain mixture, reserving milk and discarding lavender.

Combine egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until thick and pale yellow (about 5 minutes). Return milk mixture to saucepan and bring to a simmer.

Add half of the milk mixture to the egg mixture and whisk until blended. Stir mixture into remaining milk and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Remove from heat and immediately stir in chilled cream. Strain mixture (get rid of the semi-cooked egg) into a medium mixing bowl. Refrigerate until chilled (about 30-60 minutes). Freeze in an ice-cream maker according to instructions. For me, it's strictly KitchenAid attachments.

Once frozen solid (patience is key here), serve and enjoy. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Trust me, it won't last that long.

Adapted from Martha Stewart's Honey Lavender Ice Cream recipe.