Lavender Honey Ice Cream

lavender honey ice cream 2

Lavender is one of my favorite flowers.  The scent is calming and soothing, sweet and gentle.  A few years ago I had the opportunity to tour a lavender farm in Maui and it was an enlightening and relaxing experience. The Alii Kula Lavender Farm grows several different types of lavender, providing the dried blossoms to local chefs and store owners as well as distant customers (you can order online).  I toured the farm, hopping merrily among the bushes and taking in the intoxicating smell, watching the workers pick and dry the flowers.  I tried some lavender tea and ate a lavender scone. To remind me of the experience, I brought home some delicately scented lavender lotion and lavender potpourri for the moms. Whenever I make it back to Maui, I will definitely be back.

Alii Kula Lavender FarmSee the lavender bushes in the background?

The trip to the lavender farm opened my eyes (and stomach) to the possibility of eating lavender.  For some reason I never tried lavender in food, and ever since I have been eating the stuff whenever I can get it.  Lavender chocolates are my favorite.  I have tried a couple different lavender ice creams, but most end up tasting more like fruit than flowers.  I decided to try my own version, with the intent of helping the lavender shine.  I added honey for sweetness and more depth of flavor.  One bite and you will be hit with the intensity of lavender.  Mmmmm….relaxing.  Enjoy!

lavender honey ice cream

Lavender Honey Ice Cream
Adapted from ice cream base recipe by Jeni Britton Bauer
Makes 1 quart

Edible lavender is available at specialty spice stores and most well-stocked grocery stores.  I found mine at World Market (if they are in your area).  I imagine this ice cream would be even better with some Maui grown lavender, if you can find it.

2 cups (500 ml) whole milk
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (11 g) cornstarch
3 Tablespoon (1.5 oz, 44 g) cream cheese, softened
1 ¼ cups (313 ml) heavy cream
1 Tablespoon dried lavender
2/3 cup honey (158 ml)
1/8 cup corn syrup (30 ml)
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch. In another large bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth.  Set a fine mesh sieve over the bowl and set aside.

In a large saucepan, combine the remaining milk with the heavy cream, lavender, honey and corn syrup. Bring the milk mixture to a boil and cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Off the heat, gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Gradually pour the hot milk mixture (through the sieve) into the cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla extract and salt. Set the bowl in the ice water bath and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cool, about 20 minutes.

Chill the mixture thoroughly (at least 4 hours or overnight). Once chilled, pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Place plastic or parchment over ice cream (to prevent ice crystals) and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

Comments

  1. says

    I purchased some lavender chocolates from Teddy’s Cafe in the Roosevelt Hotel. The lavender was very subtle and more floral, so I think you would like them, too.

  2. David Bruce says

    Hello,

    I tried out this recipe last weekend, changing just a couple of things. I used 2% milk since that's what I had in the fridge and added two egg yolks. It came out very well, tasting just as good as the Alsatian restaurant not far from my suburb.

    Thanks for posting your ice cream journeys!

    David Bruce

  3. Lindsay says

    David – Glad to hear that the recipe worked out well for you. I think it was a good idea to add a couple eggs since you were using a lower fat milk – likely helped improve the texture. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Lindsay says

    JennC – I would recommend using a mild honey, such as clover honey. Wildflower honey seems to be a little too strong.

  5. Nico says

    Hi, do you think that I could substitute mascarpone cheese for the cream cheese in the recipe? I don't really like cream cheese but i want to try this as I was recently introduced to culinary lavender and fell in love with the flavor. Thanks.

    Nico – Yes you can substitute mascarpone, but you will get a different flavor. The cream cheese is added to improve the consistency of the ice cream because it adds gums that are found in the cream cheese. You do not taste it. If you add mascarpone, you will probably notice a little bit of a cheese taste in the ice cream (kind of like cheesecake). If you are okay with the flavor change, go for it! Let me know how it turns out.

  6. Cheryl says

    Hi Lindsay, would like to know what is the purpose of adding cream cheese to your ice cream recipe. Is there a particular role for cream cheese in making ice cream? I’ve seen many recipes without adding in cream cheese.

    Thanks!
    Cheryl

    • says

      Cheryl – Cream cheese is added to homemade ice cream recipes to improve texture and “scoopability.” Cream cheese often has a few stabilizers in it, like guar gum, which can lend good texture to ice cream. Its not absolutely necessary, it just depends on the recipe. When I first started making ice cream, I found a great ice cream base (Jeni’s) and adapted the recipe for the flavor I was making – it happens that the base I adapted used cream cheese. Later on I made my own base without cream cheese. Check out some of my newer recipes and you can adapt the base to make Lavender Honey Ice Cream without the cream cheese. Good luck!

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