04 July 2007

What's Cooking Wednesday

What's Cooking Wednesday...the ice cream edition!!
Ice cream simply is one of my very favorite things to make & to eat. And what could be a better recipe to share for July! I have been experimenting with different flavors & techniques to make ice cream/gelato, and after the test run of this week's recipe, complete with a trial on my guinea pigs, er, I mean hubby & children, I deemed this one worthy to share. (In fairness, Little Man was not impressed, but I chalk that up to his less sophisticated palate!)

Now, some thoughts about this flavor...I have always used lavender for aromatherapy, in closets & drawers, as a scent of choice for body lotion, in my garden, dried in arrangements. But eating it? I never really considered the prospects. In an online search for biscotti recipes a few years ago I came across What's Cooking America's lavender link (& their delicious honey-lavender biscotti recipe). I was intrigued, bookmarked it, and in due time, bought some culinary lavender and made it - YUM!
A few months ago, while dining out with D. at one of our favorite restaurants, Zooi, our server recited the list of the evening's desserts, which included lavendar creme brulee. D.'s eyebrows knit together in culinary confusion, but I ordered it with gusto! He could not keep his dessert spoon off it!! I almost licked the dish... it was that good! D.'s reaction & my own prompted me to get a bit more serious about some lavender recipes.
So, stick with me as I walk you through this week's What's Cooking Wednesday...


*In a medium saucepan, combine 1 t. dried culinary lavender flowers, 3/4 c. granulated sugar, 1/8 t. salt, & 2 c. whole milk - cook over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar, until small bubbles appear around the edges. Remove from heat.
*In a medium bowl, whisk 4 large egg yolks. Gradually beat in the hot milk mixture.

*Return milk/egg mixture to saucepan & cook over medium heat until slightly thickened (coats the back of a wooden spoon) - do not let boil.

*Remove from heat, strain into a bowl, & stir in 1/4 c. lavender, wildflower or herb honey (I used orange blossom - it imparted a wonderful flavor) until dissolved.
*Add 1 c. heavy cream to mixture gradually.

*Allow entire mixture to cool, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Freeze in an ice cream machine according to manufacture's directions.

*Yield approx. 1 quart.

My final analysis (hey, this was an experiment!)...nice, creamy texture right out of the ice cream machine, good balance of the lavender:honey flavor, excellent texture (firm but with some softness) after being in the freezer a day, definitely not a gelato by texture but flavor similar to one of my favorite gelato recipes - Michele Scicolone's Gelato di Miele (honey gelato) found in her cookbook, La Dolce Vita.


sognatrice said...

This looks so good! I'm not too big on flowery flavors, and I probably couldn't convince P to try it, but once I find some lavender I'm definitely attempting this anyway. Too tempting not to :)

Shan said...

Mmmmm looks very yummy.

qualcosa di bello said...

Thanks ladies! really, i wouldn't say the lavender is "flowery" - i just don't know how to put my finger on its best adjective. i guess refreshing is one word for it. i have also been looking into savory recipes using it - lots to explore!

Calabrisella said...

MmMmmmMm! i <3 gelato della lavanda !
troppo buono!