Actually, the phrase should go “I'm obsessed, you're obsessed…we're all obsessed with ice cream!” Or something like that.
Coach and I got a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker as a wedding gift and ever since I have been staving off a crazy desire to handcraft small batches of frozen dairy deliciousness! I made a couple of attempts last summer. The first was Honey Lavender because I had just seen “It's Complicated” and wanted to pretend that I had Meryl Streep's Santa Barbara existence (well, ok, her kitchen to be specific). I followed directions to a tee and it turned out pretty good. (The pictures may have turned out better…) The end result was a tiny bit icy, and very lavender-y… which made me realize that the making of delicious ice cream is as much a science as it is a craft. It is a lot about balancing the ingredients and tweaking things as you go along, so you really in the end, need to know about what the ingredients do and why. I made only two batches last summer and vowed to revisit the project.
This spring I stumbled upon Jeni. Not literally, but actually by recommendation of some Twitter followers that put her shop on my to-do list while visiting Columbus, OH. I never made it to her shop, but was able to grab an early copy of her new book and have been reading it like a great novel before bed at night! I am newly energized, recharged and completely up to the challenge of unique, artisan ice cream making!! I hope my kitchen (which is NOT like Meryl Streep's..) is ready for this jelly!
I will keep you abreast (is it wrong that I laugh a little as I type that?) of my progress, as I'm certain you will want to know! But until then, this recipe is worth a shot if you have a home ice cream maker, just make sure the basin is fully frozen and you may want to edit the amount of lavender used, as you don't want to feel like you are eating a sachet.
Honey Lavender Ice Cream
You will need:
½ C. honey (I used Savannah Bee Company's Tupelo Honey (not pictured) but you could use anything…local is always better!)
¼ C. fresh or dried lavender flowers (I found that the dried ones gave a slightly stronger flavor)
1 ½ C. whole milk
½ tsp. sea salt
¼ C. sugar
1 ½ C. heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
Heat the honey and 2 tablespoons of the lavender in a small saucepan. Once warm, remove from the heat and set aside to steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
Warm the milk, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan.
Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. Pour the lavender-infused honey into the cream through the strainer, you can press lightly on the flowers to extract flavor, discard lavender and set the strainer back over the cream.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warm egg yolks back into the saucepan. You want to make sure your cream mixture is JUST WARM, anything too hot can make egg solids at this step.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of lavender flowers and stir. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. You can also put this in metal bowl and an ice bath to speed the process.
Pour the chilled mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze as directed.
Anybody have any favorite homemade flavors to share?!