My first attempt at this ice cream tasted like cold soap. I’d used way too much lavender and it wasn’t good. So I tried again each time reducing the amount of lavender, and finally, here we are and it’s the most beautiful gentle dessert. Especially good when freshly churned and still soft, even better served next to Gran’s Danish almond cake (recipe here). The recipe is adapted from one by Stephanie Alexander via Maggie Beer’s beautiful book Maggie’s Harvest.
If you can, use a really punchy honey to compliment the floral lavender flavour. I used a Bloodwood Honey from local apiary Goldfields.
1 litre milk
1/2 cup unsprayed, dried lavender flowers*
8 egg yolks
600ml pouring cream
Bring the milk to the boil and then stir through the lavender.
Set aside to infuse for a couple of hours. Beat the egg yolks until pale, then beat in the honey. Strain the cold lavender milk into this and then gently stir to combine. Stir through the cream and then churn according to ice cream maker’s instructions and freeze. If you don’t have an ice cream machine, pour into a container, place in the freezer for an hour, remove and whisk briskly then return to the freezer and repeat this process a couple of times.
*You do need to find dried lavender that hasn’t been sprayed etc. Mine came from a generous friend whose garden incorperates an old lavender farm, she picked it and tied it into a tight bunch then we hung it in the laundry for a couple of weeks. If you have a lavender bush at home try doing the same, otherwise you can find lavender flowers at most specialist food stores.