Lavender honey ice cream is an ice cream infused with the flavors of lavender flowers and honey. Particularly popular in French cuisine, the combination of the flavorful flowers and the sweet honey sometimes eliminate the need to add sugar to this dish. It also usually takes on a lemony-yellow color flecked with purple lavender buds, making it a treat for the eyes. Cooks often serve this light, summery treat with shortbread cookies or light, flaky pastry to compliment the subtle flavors of lavender honey ice cream.
Most stores don’t sell lavender honey ice cream, making it into a generally homemade treat. Those that grow their own herbs or simply love unusual ice cream flavors may enjoy making it to use up a surplus of lavender blossoms or as a kitchen experiment. The recipe generally starts with 1 part dried lavender blossoms and 2 parts honey. If purchasing lavender, it is important to purchase edible, or food quality, lavender blossoms. Some blossoms are only meant for potpourri or incense, and have not been processed for consumption.
When it comes to choosing honey for lavender honey ice cream, cooks have a wealth of possibilities. Ordinary honey from the grocery store is usually satisfactory, but those looking for an especially exotic ice cream may want to explore their options. Clover, orange, and unrefined honey are all possibilities. Some varieties taste like marshmallows, while others are infused with fruit blossom nectar. Apple, pear, cherry, and peach honeys may all be available at holistic food shops or in herbal stores.
Once the cook chooses the honey for his or her lavender honey ice cream, it is a relatively simple matter to put everything together. The 1 part of lavender and 2 parts of honey get stirred together with about 5 parts milk, three to five eggs, and sometimes sugar. Those avoiding sugar may double the amount of honey to make the ice cream sweeter. Some recipes also call for a few drops of vanilla extract.
All of the ingredients are typically warmed together until the mixture smells heavily of lavender and the honey and sugar dissolve. After that, the mix goes into an ice cream maker for several hours. While the ice cream chills, the cook may want to make a simple syrup to go over it. Simple syrups are usually little more than sugar, either granulated or fruit sugar, and water. Some cooks add a bit of lemon zest, which usually goes very well with both lavender and honey.
After the lavender honey ice cream is ready, the cook can simply scoop it into a small bowl, or dress it up for presentation. Light almond and shortbread cookies go well with this dessert, as does a small sprinkling of lavender on top. Shaved dark or white chocolate often make tasty toppings that take this dish from exotic to indulgent.