A colleague dropped by some treasured lavender leaves by my desk the other day and exclaimed that she had run out of ideas of what to do with them all. I happily replied Ice cream and thank you, almost in the same breath.
I thought the lavender infused cream and fresh Ontario strawberries would make the perfect pairing subtle but all the delicate floweriness of sunny summer days.
There are a few people I know with full beds of lavender who were very curious about this recipe and how it would turn out. All I can say is that it really was a beautiful flavor. The next time I will puree some of the berries for color but I was worried that the lavender flavor may get lost. Updates on version two coming up!
Strawberry and lavender ice cream
3 cups half and half 10% (Or higher fat if you desire)
1 cup sugar plus one tbsp sugar
6 egg yolks
5 springs fresh lavender leaves
2 cups fresh strawberries hulled and chopped finely ( you could puree half of them if you like to have the beautiful color)
In a medium bowl whisk together egg yolks and sugar and set aside.
In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, heat half and half and lavender until very hot and streaming but not boiling
Strain through a metal sieve and discard lavender leaves
Add half and half mixture a little at a time to the egg mixture whisking constantly
Return combined mixture to saucepan and over a medium heat whisking constantly cook until mixture has thicken slightly, again do not allow to boil (approximately 10 minutes)
Allow to cool 5 minutes and then chill in refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight
Hull and chop strawberries finely and place in a medium glass or ceramic bowl and stir in 1 tbsp sugar allow to sit and mascerate in fridge for about 30min to 1 hr
Prepare ice cream in machine or kitchen aid attachment according to manufacturers directions.
Add chopped berries in the last 5 minutes of churning.
If using kitchen aid it will make a soft serve so place in shallow covered containers in the freezer for 2-4 hours for a firmer ice cream