a lavender shade of pale – lavender ice-cream

Lavender ice-cream

I had the idea for this recipe after seeing a sweet pumpkin pie recipe and I thought the two would go well together – both visually and their tastes. And I was right! The crème anglaise quantities are from The Cook’s Book.

You will need to start this recipe a day ahead of serving. Check if you need to put the frozen bowl of your ice-cream machine in the freezer a certain time before you need to churn. I put mine in the freezer the morning of the day before I wished to churn the ice-cream.

6 egg yolks

120 g caster sugar

500 ml full fat milk

100 ml cream

11 lavender heads

Begin this part of the recipe the day before:

Whisk eggs yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy.

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Place milk and cream in a saucepan. Whisk together. Heat on medium until simmering.
While continuously whisking, slowly add half of the milk mixture to the egg mixture.
Add this back into the saucepan with the remaining milk mixture.
Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthways and scrap the back of your knife along each half to collect beans.

Add these, with the 2 bean shell halves to the milk mixture.
Heat slowly on medium for about 10 minutes or until the mixture coats the back of the spoon (slide your finger along the back of the spoon and the mixture should leave a space). Don’t rush this step or it will curdle. Stir so it doesn’t stick.

20160719_224829If slightly curdled, you can whiz with a stick blender. But if it tastes of egg and has split, chuck out and start again – it pays to be patient with the heat.
Take off the heat and add the lavender. Infuse for 10-15 minutes. Taste at 10 minutes, leave for longer if you don’t think there is enough lavender taste. Remember that you will lose some of the flavour once the ice cream has frozen. I infused for about 12 minutes.
Strain into a plastic container (press on the lavender slightly as you finish straining) and refrigerate overnight.

Churn according to your ice-cream maker instructions the next morning:

Pour the ice-cream mixture into the machine from jug to avoid spills.
Have a container to put the ice-cream in ready to go.
Work quickly.
Churn until you are happy with the consistency. You want the mixture to build up the sides of the bowl and to move through the paddle like a thick paste. You want to be able to collect the ice-cream with a spatula and it not slide off. I took 10 minutes from when all the ice-cream mixture was added.

Feeling like adding some fun?

As I was making this ice-cream to go with a sweet pumpkin pie, I thought I would check the pantry for food dye. Luckily I had some blue and pink food dye. Red would do too. I am usually not into dying food but I thought it might be a good idea for the photography of the orange coloured pie with the light purple ice-cream.

I would recommend only doing with half of the ice-cream to start (in case it’s a total disaster and you are forced to eat blue ice-cream! and you get a variety of colours). Add one drop of each colour at a time and give a careful mix. As you get more confident and see what one drop does – you can add a few more. Use a pipette if possible – I didn’t have one of these, but would use one if I had one. Stop when you are happy with the colour. If you go too dark, you do have some un-dyed ice-cream to add if you need to.

Enjoy!

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