Chamomile literally means earth apple or on the ground apple and if you have ever taken a whiff of a bag full of chamomile flowers, you know why. Now chamomile is an edible flower that not only taste sweet but has a relaxing effect and aids in digestion which makes it perfect to ingest after dinner, close to bedtime. And what better way to consume this herb than in a rich, smooth ice cream?
I originally discovered this recipe through Fig and Kindle but have made some changes for my own taste. Personally, I prefer a high milk to cream ratio. I have noticed that when I use more heavy cream than milk in my ice cream it tends to leave a film on the spoon that just makes it feel too heavy. I also added vanilla since I love it in just about anything sweet and to make up for the reduced amount of heavy cream, I added an extra egg yolk. Yum.
I understand some of you may run from the idea of drinking tea yet alone added a tea to your dessert. However, if this hold any merit, Philip has a strong distaste for tea but actually enjoys chamomile tea. Adding chamomile to his teas actually helps me force it down his throat. Don’t worry, I make sure the tea isn’t scorching hot before doing so. Aren’t I such a lovely wife?
Now I imagine this ice cream would taste delicious with a dark honey added in to replace the sugar or maybe even served with honey. I know… that just sounds crazy, Kimberly. That is why I wasn’t brave enough to do it, but if you venture there please, let me know if you survive.
Chamomile Ice Cream
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup dried chamomile flowers
4 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
Come milk, sugar and chamomile in a heavy duty saucepan and bring to a gently simmer over medium high heat. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain using a fine mesh sieve and press chamomile with the back of a spoon to extract as much flavor as possible.
While steeping, separate egg yolks and whisk in a large mixing bowl. While whisking vigorously, slowly pour chamomile infused milk into eggs.
Return egg mixture to saucepan and heat over medium low heat until thick and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and pour into a large mixing bowl. Immediately whisk in heavy cream and vanilla.
Chill in refrigerator until completely cool, at least 2 hours. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufactures directions.