Thursday, October 20, 2011

Vanilla Lavender Ice Cream

Tonight I wanted ice cream. But, I had a problem to meet this need.

I made a promise not cook anything processed this month as part of the Eating Rules! October Challenge. I would say the transition hasn't been hard, I like to make everything from scratch anyways.

But tonight I wanted ice cream! How to you fulfill a need like that last minute when it's so easy to grab your car keys and head to the store? I decided I was going to be good and buck up. I will make my own ice cream.

I've made it before. I have the technology (ice cream maker canister already waiting in the freezer). So, let's do this! Time to be creative.

I started with what I knew, Vanilla Ice Cream and just added a twist of lavender since I'm sort of on a lavender kick right now. I think my next try might be more seasonal...pumpkin? :)

Vanilla Lavender Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup lavender sugar (I had some left over from my pumpkin-lavender bread)
2 tbl dried lavender (if you do not have lavender sugar. Please make sure  your lavender is for culinary use only! Not from a craft store or out of your potpourri)
Pinch of salt
1 tbl vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
1 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks

1. If using vanilla bean, cut open and scrape out the seeds.

2.Warm the milk, lavender sugar, vanilla bean seeds and pod and salt in a medium saucepan until sugar dissolves, do not boil. If you are using vanilla extract, add to milk once it's warmed to 170F.

A lot of recipes have you strain the flowers out of the warm creme, but I left my lavender in the ice cream to add color and keep the full flavor, they are edible flowers after all.

Remove the lavender and vanilla bean pod (if using) then discard if you want a really smooth ice cream.

3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Slowly pour a small amount of warm milk mix into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

4. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula (Do not use a whisk, it will add too many air bubbles to the ice cream), scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula (Congrats! You just made curd!).

5. Pour the custard through the strainer (just in case any eggs decided to cook on you on the bottom of the pot) and stir it into the heavy cream. Let mixture cool at least an hour, overnight is best.

6. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Your ice cream maker won't freeze the ice cream as well as the old fashioned ice and rock salt machines. Remember! If you let the ice cream maker continue to run longer than 30 minutes, the ice cream will begin to melt again. So just turn it off and finish freezing in the freezer.

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