Relaxed and Refined

June 16, 2008 at 11:19 am 12 comments

scoops of lavender ice cream

I’m really putting my lavender plants to work already this summer.  First a lavender-infused vinegar, then a bubbly lavender lemonade, and now lavender scented ice cream!  I’m running to catch up to the bandwagon here, flagging it down like a speeding city bus.   Many folks have long been touting how sublime the marriage of lavender and cream is.  But I hadn’t bought into it until this weekend.  

Fresh lavender buds

Last fall I tried an ice cream recipe that called for dried lavender leaves.  But you never got to hear about that recipe since it was so medicinal tasting that I never bothered to post it to the blog.  After the success of the lemon honey ice cream last month, I got up the gumption to give the lavender concept another try. 

Vanilla beans and sugar

This time I found a recipe that called for fresh flowers, not the dried leaves, and hoped a more floral scent would be imparted than the last batch.  But I was a little hesitant when I saw the rest of the ingredient list.  No eggs.  It’s hard to get a rich creamy ice cream without a custard base.  I mulled it over and decided it was worth a shot.  Since there are no eggs, this recipe was bound to be far easier than some out there so it wouldn’t be any great loss if it was just another flop.

lavender steeping in cream

Ladies and gentlemen, it was flop-less.  In fact, it was the anti-flop! This ice cream is superbly rich and creamy, with a lighter-than-air floral flavor that co-mingles perfectly with the sweetness of the vanilla.  Even with the use of one percent milk and some sugar substitute, it stood up to even some of the best Italian gelatos I’d sampled on the streets of Florence back in the day. 

Another shot of the lavender

Adding to my delight, even with the lack of eggs that usually help to stabilize the creaminess for longer-lasting ice cream, the next day the scoops were just as smooth and rich.  I should know since I made a point to go relax on the deck several times over the weekend, ice cream dish in hand. 

It was, most definitely, sublime. 

Fresh Lavender Ice Cream

Fresh Lavender Ice Cream
Adapted from happyvalleylavender.com

1 1/4 C. whole milk (1% worked well for me too)
1/2 C. fresh lavender florets, washed and dried
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/4 C. vanilla sugar (regular granulated sugar is fine too)
1/4 C. Splenda or other sugar substitute
pinch of salt
2 C. heavy cream

Gently heat milk, lavender and the vanilla bean until warm, but not boiling.  Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the milk into a bowl and stire in the salt, sugar and Splenda while still warm.  Stir in the cream and chill the  mixture for at least 2 hours until cold.

Churn chilled mixture in an ice cream maker, following the manufacturer’s directions (usually about 20-30 minutes).  Just before the ice cream finishes churning, toss in a few fresh lavender buds.

(makes about 1 quart)

Relaxing with ice cream

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Entry filed under: Recipes, Sweet Treats. Tags: , , , , .

Beat the Heat Apologies

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mary  |  June 16, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    This looks truly refreshing! My lavender plant is blossoming like crazy and I already followed your directions to make the lavender vinegar (which smells heavenly!) So I think I will add this to the pile of recipes I need to try!

    Reply
  • 2. De in D.C.  |  June 16, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    I am SO making this tonight. I’d meant to make ice cream over the weekend and ran out of time, but have all the ingredients necessary. I have macerated strawberries that I think would be divine with the floral notes of the ice cream.

    Reply
  • 3. Mike of Mike's Table  |  June 16, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    I’ve had lavendar on my mind for a while now but have never tried it before. I’m hoping my lavendar plant starts flowering some time soon so I can try this. It looks delicious!

    Reply
  • 4. pinstripebindi  |  June 16, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    I never really thought of lavender as a food item, although I love the smell. But I would definately try this!

    Reply
  • 5. gintoino  |  June 17, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Oh yes, this sounds/looks delicious! My lavenders are now blooming, so I’ll have to harvest some flowers in order to use them in all these recipes. Do you have any featuring summer squashes? I’m harvesting more than I can eat, so I’m staring to offer them to friends and family.
    By the way, I would love some rutabaga seeds, if that offer still stands :-), I’m trying to find them around here, but its not easy.
    Sorry for not comming as often to your blog latelly, but time is scarse.

    P.s. was that you commenting on my potato hillness? I think you might be right, thanx!

    Reply
  • 6. Ann Chaney  |  June 17, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Hi there. Your blog came to my computer via my Google alert for all things lavender. I am a lavender farmer from New Zealand. Food with lavender is soooo delicious as you have found, though so many people just can’t imagine eating lavender! Would you PLEASE PLEASE tell everyone to ONLY use lavender ANGUSTIFOLIA variety flowers. I just checked the Happy Valley website and their recipe does state angustifolia, the variety Hidcote. You left that out but probably because you may not realise how important it is. All other varieties will, as you found out previously, taste ‘medicinal’. (That’s the natural camphor compound (mothballs) in lavender) Won’t kill you but not good for you (: What I find helps using lavender is to first put it through a coffee grinder. Also you have replaced some SPLENDA in your recipe. I have been reading recently how bad for you Splenda and other sugar substitiutes are. An article on http://www.womentowomen.com is very interesting. They ‘discovered’ the splenda ingredients by accident when they were looking for pesticides!! I have a son on Vancouver island and when we visited we went to the Happy Valley farm and tasted their ice cream – very yum! I have a recipe for lavender panna cotta (among others) mmmmmmm…… Try to find a book called ‘The Lavender Cookbook’ by Sharon Shipley (she died 2 years ago but I met her at the Sequim Lavender Festival in Washington State). Good luck, Ann

    Reply
  • 7. Jennie  |  June 17, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    Thanks, Ann! That’s a lot of information. I appreciate you taking the time to share it!

    Reply
  • 8. Sue (coffeepot)  |  June 18, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    I can not wait to try this. I just planted lavender this year and so far it hasn’t bloomed..but when it does this will be a first.

    Reply
  • 9. Here’s the Scoop « Straight from the Farm  |  July 7, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    [...] my fridge, it seemed obvious what flavor to make.   I loosely adapted the recipe I used for the Lavender Vanilla Ice Cream and went with my gut on how to prepare the blueberries.  The color alone was worth the [...]

    Reply
  • 10. Cartoons & Ice Cream « Straight from the Farm  |  August 9, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    [...] this version is much creamier than any I’ve had.  Fortuitously, the basic recipe I used to make Lavender Ice Cream has proven the perfect base for any herbal infusion.   It’s super quick to make too compared to [...]

    Reply
  • 11. Lavender ice cream recipes  |  April 15, 2012 at 3:00 am

    [...] 1. Lavender ice cream with vanilia . Recipe >> [...]

    Reply
  • 12. Fresh Lavender Ice Cream | Ice Creamed  |  March 7, 2013 at 1:04 am

    [...] Recipe Straight from the Farm [...]

    Reply

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