Some of the first ice creams I ever made after purchasing my ice cream maker were mint chocolate chip and green tea. What do the two flavors have in common? Both require herbs to be allowed to steep with the ice cream base, and then strained out. I have always been a lover of teas and herbs, so lavender ice cream was naturally the next step for me.
I couldn’t find a recipe that I liked, so I made my own based on my experiences with other herbs. I am pleased to say that it turned out great! A friend of mine told me that it was better than the lavender ice cream that she buys at a local creamery in Seattle!
All other ingredients in this recipe can be found at most any normal grocery store, but you might have to look online to obtain culinary grade lavender. Do not use potpourri grade! Be sure to purchase an edible grade!
Without further ado, here is the recipe:
CraftySummer’s Homemade Lavender Ice Cream Recipe
1 ½ cup milk
1 cup white sugar
2 heaping tablespoons of culinary grade lavender
3 egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream (chill over ice in advanced to cut chill time down)
1 to 2 tablespoons honey
red and blue food coloring (optional)
Ice cream maker (with necessary parts frozen in advanced if necessary for your machine)
Medium or large sized saucepan
Medium sized mixing bowl
2 cup or larger Measuring cup
Large wooden spoon
In saucepan, combined 1 ½ cups milk, 1 cup white sugar and pinch of salt. Put over medium-low heat and stir to fully dissolve the sugar.
Bring milk mixture to a simmer, but do not allow to boil.
Once brought to a simmer, take off heat. Add the heaping tablespoons of lavender, stir and quickly cover. Let steep for 15 to 20 minutes.
While steeping, prepare your work station. Set up your strainer over your measuring cup. Then separate the egg whites from yolks and refrigerate for later. (You will not need the whites for this recipe, so use them for omelets or something!)
Tip for separating eggs: try to crack the egg in half right in the center, then flip the yolk back forth between the two halves letting the white drip away into bowl below. Be careful not to puncture the delicate yolk sac on a sharp shell edge while flipping.
When done steeping, carefully pour the milk mixture through the strainer into the measuring cup. Press lavender to gather all milk. If you are brave and dexterous, tip the entire pan carefully into the strainer. If that seems like a bad idea to you, spoon or ladle the milk mixture into the strainer instead.
Empty strainer and clean it, then pour milk mixture through the strainer once again, back into the saucepan. Put back onto medium-low heat.
Get your 3 egg yolks and whisk them together in a medium sized mixing bowl.
Carefully temper ¼ cup of the heated milk mixture into the eggs, whisking as you pour. Add another ¼ cup into the eggs and whisk. Carefully pour the tempered egg into the saucepan, and quickly whisk all together.
Keep the heat low, and stir frequently to prevent egg scrambling on the bottom of the pan. When fully cooked the eggs should reach 175 on a thermometer, and thickly coat the back of your wooden spoon. When fully cooked, remove from heat. If your ice cream scrambled a bit during cooking, you may wish to strain it one more time.
Pour the custard base into a metal bowl and add two cups heavy cream. Stir well. Add food coloring (just a few drops at a time) until custard is desired color.
Cover with cling wrap. Chill in fridge until thoroughly cold, at least two hours, or overnight.
When custard is fully chilled, you are ready to add it to your ice cream maker.
Put in maker and set a timer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, add 1 to 2 tablespoons honey to the custard. Give it another 5 minutes in the machine (or slightly longer if you prefer harder ice cream) and then transfer to a freezer safe container.
Homemade ice cream tends to get harder the longer it is left in the freezer because of its lack of preservatives or alcohol. To get maximum enjoyment out of your ice cream, eat immediately as soft serve or within a week of freezing.