I love going to the bathroom at Will’s and Jenn’s house. Literally, I mean going into the bathroom. It’s perhaps the most spacious first floor bathroom I’ve ever seen in a town-house, but more importantly, the scent of lavender hits you once you step in. The scent stems from these joss-like sticks, dipped in what looks like lavender oil. It sits right above the toilet. I don’t know what they’re made of, but I could probably get high just sniffing those all day long.
So as you can tell, I loveee lavender.
The other day, when I was feeling a bit under the weather, I brought a jar of dried lavender to work. A few coworkers walked by, acknowledging “Oh, so that’s lavender?” (fyi: I conveniently labeled the container “lavender”). When I replied “Yes, would you like some?” they all looked at me and asked, “What are you supposed to do with it?”
Me: “You drink it! Like tea!”
For anyone who hasn’t had the opportunity of experiencing the wonderful fragrance of lavender, you’re really missing out. It’s possibly my favorite scent in the world. It’s as subtle as digging your toes into soft white sand. I think it’s best when steeped in hot water combined with a teaspoon of honey.
Naturally, that day, sitting at my desk, I toyed with the possibility of translating that flavor into an ice cream. There are many recipes out there and I settled with one by Martha Stewart.
The method of making the custard base was much different from what I’m used to. This called for beating the eggs for 3-5 minutes with an electric mixture until it thickens into a pale yellow custard. Usually, I just quickly whisk the yolk.
Additionally, the ratio of milk to cream is 2:1 instead of the usual 1:2 that David Lebovitz’s recipes generally call for. I figured that since the viscosity of the honey is so high, perhaps that makes up for the difference?
Beating the egg yolks in this recipe incorporates more air into the egg. The result from both the milk to cream ratio and the beating process is a very delicate and light ice cream. In fact, even after freezing it overnight, the ice cream scoops easily, the way a knife runs through butter.
Best yet, there’s not a single grain of sugar. It’s completely naturally sweetened- with honey. I also omitted the 5th egg yolk, making it a tad bit healthier? Or not.
Honey Lavender Ice Cream
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes 1 quart
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup dried lavender
- 1/3 cup honey
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 cup heavy cream
In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, lavender, and honey. After a gentle boil, turn off the stove and cover the pot. Let the lavender steep for 5 minutes. Then, strain the mixture so that you discard the lavender leaves.
Using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks on medium-high speed until very thick and pale yellow, for 3-5 minutes. Meanwhile, put the milk mixture back onto the stove and bring it to a simmer over low-medium heat.
Temper the eggs by adding the milk to egg-yolk mixture, ladle by ladle, while mixing with a whisk. You want to stir constantly to avoid the eggs from being cooked into scrambled eggs. Eventually, when half the milk mixture is in the egg mixture, stir the whole mixture into the remaining milk. Then cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the cream. Strain mixture into a medium mixing bowl and let it chill over night (or for 8-12 hours). Then churn in your ice cream maker.
Store in an airtight plastic container for up to two weeks.