I planted lavender all over the hill that leads from our breakfast area down to our guest rooms. The lavender is now in that magical moment of the year when it is a mass of spectacular color and the smell of lavender is so intense it's almost cloying.
This is why I love seasonality and NOT having everything around and available to you all year. Because the lead up to the full blooming of the lavender (which is still happening by the way) is really downright exciting! And it has to be enjoyed fully because it comes and goes so fast! I love being able to put vases of fresh lavender in our guest rooms, I love drying the lavender & making sachets and, of course, I love cooking with it!
Guests on my lavender hill:
So, today it's lavender ice cream!...
Honey Lavender Ice Cream
(adapted from a Gourmet magazine recipe)
3 cups (237 ml) heavy cream
2/3 cup (158 ml) honey
2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers
2 large eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt
Bring cream, honey, and lavender just to a boil in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Stir frequently with a whisk, then remove pan from heat and allow to steep, covered, until lukewarm, or about a half hour.
Pour cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard lavender. Return mixture to a clean, double boiler saucepan and heat over moderate heat until hot.
Whisk eggs and salt together, then slowly add about half the hot cream mixture, whisking constantly.
Pour the cream and egg mixture into the remaining hot cream mixture and cook in the double boiler over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat back of a wooden spoon. Do not let boil.
Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl and cool completely, stirring occasionally. Cover and chill until cold (several hours).
Place the bowl in a freezer. Every 15 minutes remove the bowl and mix thoroughly with a wire whisk or wooden spoon. Repeat this process until the ice cream is frozen solid. Mixing the ice cream every 15 minutes will prevent the formation of ice crystals.