Lavender Vanilla Ice Cream

Do you relate eating lavender to eating a bar of soap? Well don’t, it can be delicious! I had my first taste of lavender in a tiny restaurant in Coos Bay, Oregon. It was a lavender creme brulee and I still dream of it to this day. Since my skills in making creme brulee are non-existent, I make this ice cream to satisfy my lavender taste buds.

lavender, vanilla
  Making this can be intimidating due to the egg yokes and culinary lavender but don’t fret, it is actually fairly easy to make! As for the lavender, all you want is dried lavender that has been treated like food, not like a body product. This lavender was a gift from one of my sisters but I recommend Bulk Herb Store or Mountain Rose Herbs for your lavender (or any herbal) needs.

lavender flower
  Now let’s get started. You’ll start bringing whole milk, heavy cream, sugar and lavender to a “gentle” boil. This took me about 10 minutes. Once it is lightly boiling, remove the pot from the heat, cover and let the lavender steep for 5 minutes, kind of like making a tea… with milk. If you want a more pronounced lavender flavor, steep those babies for longer.
make custard
  By the way, this is not the time to feel guilty about using whole milk and heavy cream. You want that full fat goodness to make the ice cream rich and creamy. What can I say, I am a full fat kind of girl. You won’t find any 1% milk in my fridge.
  While the lavender is steeping, whisk together six egg yokes in a bowl until nice and smooth. I know, half a dozen eggs is a lot of eggs, but it is oh so tasty. I like to use the shell of the egg to separate the yolk. There are multiple methods but that one works for me.
  Once your “milk tea” is done steeping, strain the lavender mixture saving the cream and discarding the lavender. Now slowly pour that mixture into your egg yolks, whisking constantly. If I had a third hand I would have taken a picture for you. Sorry, no octopus human living here, maybe next door.
  Now you need to sort of cook that eggy milky mixture over medium heat until it thickens. You are looking for it to coat the back of a spoon. To test, dip a spoon in the cream and run your finger along the back of the spoon. If the line stays in tact, you are good to go.
  Once you reach that consistency, you need to remove it from the heat and mix in more cold heavy cream and some vanilla extract. Now you want to let it cool completely in the refrigerator until you run it through your ice cream maker. I know, more time to wait before you can dive into a bowl of ice cream. Diving into a bowl? That’s a scary thought. Oh and for the record, ice cream is tough to take a picture of. It is all the ice creams fault, not mine, okay?!

lavender ice cream
Lavender Vanilla Ice Cream

Ingredients:

1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream, divided
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tbsp dried lavender
pinch of salt
6 large egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
Combine milk, 1 cup heavy cream, sugar, lavender and pinch of salt in a saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain mixture, discarding lavender.

Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks until smooth. Slowly pour strained mixture into egg yolks, whisking constantly.

Return to saucepan and cook over medium heat until mixture is thick and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately stir in remaining heavy cream and vanilla extract.

Let cool completely then freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturers directions.

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