Even though the weather is starting to feel a bit autumnal, lately my husband has been cranking up the ice cream maker. There’s no explaining it, really, but perhaps the recent snap of Indian summer around the Bay Area inspired him to take one last dip into warm weather fare. Since we both think Provence, and its flavors, are the bees knees, the last batch of ice cream at our house was a pretty sensational honey lavender. Keeping the lavender in the custard for several hours plus using a high-quality raw honey are critical for the best flavor. The result is a little bit of the south of France in your bowl while you’re enjoying the last days of sunny warmth.
We used Jeni Britton Bauer’s method as a guide, to create a new, non-Jeni flavor….enjoy!
2 cups milk
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 TBSP of light corn syrup
¼ cup raw sage honey
2TBSP of dried lavender flowers
1 1/2 oz. cream cheese softened in a medium size bowl (we like Sierra Nevada)
1/8 tsp. salt (grey sea salt is our choice here)
Mix the corn starch with 2 TBSP of the milk to create a “slurry”. Bring the milk, cream, sugar and light corn syrup to a soft boil until the sugar is dissolved (2-3 minutes after boil is reached.) To this, add the honey and the lavender flowers. Stir to combine. Take off the heat and whisk in the slurry. Return to heat and bring it to a boil until it thickens (about 2-4 minutes).
With the cream cheese in a heat-proof bowl, add the milk a little at a time, until the cream cheese is fully integrated. Stir salt into the custard.
Cool the custard in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Remove custard from refrigerator and push the mixture through a strainer to remove the lavender flowers. Put mixture into your ice creamer maker and follow the instructions for churning.