A Summertime Favorite: Honey-Lavender Ice Cream

http://www.motherearthliving.com/Food-Matters/summertime-favoritehoney-lavender-ice-cream.aspx

S.McCabeMy mother and I recently spent a lovely weekend in New York City. While we were there, we were craving seafood, so we decided to try a restaurant that online reviewers raved about: Estiatorio Milos. Everything was delicious and, after four courses, we didn’t know if we’d be hungry enough for dessert. But of course, there is always room for dessert.

While my mom and I are huge chocolate aficionados, we thought we might be more adventurous and order the most highly recommended dessert at the restaurant—a walnut cake served with honey-lavender ice cream on the side. Let me tell you, it was one of the best dessert decisions we’ve ever made.

My family loves to make homemade ice cream, so as soon as I got home I raced to find a recipe for this creamy, delightful treat. This recipe from Epicurious is the perfect way to combat those hot summer afternoons. Enjoy!

Honey-Lavender Ice Cream 

Note: You will need an ice cream maker and a candy thermometer for this recipe 

Makes 1 quart

• 2 cups heavy cream*
• 1 cup half-and-half*
• 2/3 cup mild honey
• 2 tablespoons dried edible lavender flowers
• 2 large eggs
• 1/8 tablespoon salt 

6-6-11 Honey lavender ice cream
Homemade honey-lavender ice cream.
Photo by Indirectheat/Courtesy
Flickr  

1. Bring the cream, half-and-half, honey, and lavender to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally.

2. As soon as the mixture starts to boil, remove the pan from the heat. Then cover and let the mixture steep for 30 minutes. Strain the cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the lavender flowers. Then return the mixture to the saucepan and heat over moderate heat until hot.

3. Whisk together the eggs and salt in a large bowl. Then slowly add 1 cup of the hot cream mixture, whisking. Pour this mixture into the remaining hot cream mixture in the saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is thick enough to coat back of the spoon and registers 170 to 175 degrees on the thermometer (about 5 minutes). Do not let the mixture boil.

4. Strain the mixture again and then let it cool completely, stirring occasionally. Once cool, cover and refrigerate until cold (at least 3 hours).

5. After it has chilled, freeze the custard in an ice cream maker. Then transfer the ice cream to the freezer to harden. Once it has reached the desired consistency, the ice cream can be eaten plain or garnished with honey and berries to add a colorful and decorative twist.

*For lighter ice cream, use 1 1/2 cups heavy cream and 1 1/2 cups half-and-half.