Lavender Vanilla Ice Cream

This is my basic ice cream recipe:

4 egg yolks

1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar, depending on flavor

1 cup milk

1 cup heavy cream

a few drops of vanilla for most flavors

So for the Lavender and Vanilla I used 3 small sprigs of lavender, and 1 Tablespoon of really good vanilla, which I will talk about in a minute.

Here’s the lavender steeping in the milk as it heats in the pot:

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And here is another photo of the eggs and sugar and vanilla whisked into submission, you know you have wonderful eggs when they are bright colored and sit at attention before you ask them to perform just one of the mysterious tricks they know how to do:

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This wire whip is over 25 years old. I found it in my husbands kitchen when I was just getting to know him and snooping through his drawers. It definitely made a difference in the quality of attention I paid him.

Next we need to get the milk/lavender and eggs/sugar tangled up together right? OOps, take the lavender sprigs out of the milk first. I know that you know that I know you gotta be careful not to scare those eggs so they don’t bundle their proteins in the wrong way too soon. So we make careful introduction….don’t think you can sneak up on an egg….ever.

So pour a little milk into the eggs, oh, and the milk needs to be just scalded, which happens to be the temperature that is like a little welcome mat to the eggs, ok this metaphor is getting tired…..whip that bit of milk into the eggs/sugar, then pour that mixture BACK into the pot with the rest of the milk.

This next is the stage that…..wait, it is Sunday morning and the bells are ringing up at the Catholic church, it must be nine o-clock.

Ok, so, students often have trouble cooking the custard. The wooden, flat edged paddle/spoon or the silicon spatula MUST drag against the bottom of the pot to keep the gently curdling egg mixture from lumping or sticking or, horrors, scortching and ruining the whole thing. Yep, down the disposal, or feed it to the dog…..after it cools down of course. And we can’t just jam up the temperature thinking faster is better, although for a running back it’s a completely different story. there is no reason except for boiling water for the temp gauge to be jacked up to “high”. To the student: “you just don’t want to pay attention, think of the results of this as winning the game and it depends on you.”

I am so sorry about that…..you can tell what kind of teacher i am.  So, here’s the pot after cooking and we cook for 5-7 minutes or 162 degrees. the custard coats the spoon as we say. Taste it for blend of lavender/vanilla flavor, you can always add a bit more now while the mixture is hot. Gently add the cream in and mix well.

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Chill this mixture until below 40 degrees in the fridge. You can pour it into a stainless bowl, which will conduct heat out faster than a glass or ceramic one. then pour it into your ice cream freezer and turn it on. This will take about 20-30 minutes depending on the machine. You can hear the change in the motor when it becomes thicker…..viscosity!

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The machine above, I have 2 cuisinarts and a krups. They both work great.

and here are the two ways we ate the delicious results. One on it’s own so your palate can allow the interplay between high and low notes of flower and oils, the other just wallowing in the goodness of my friend Marci’s fabulous apple pie, unknown old apple variety out of her yard.

So, my feelings on vanilla: use vanilla beans by all means if you can note the differences. For me, I’ve had some bean disappointments. I vote for the best extract you can find.

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