Lavender Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with a Triple Berry SwirlSunday, May 31, 2015
Disclaimer: I received a product sample and compensation for this post. The opinions and text are all mine.
This is my first ice cream recipe for the blog! Last Christmas, my sister gave me an ice cream maker attachment for my mixer bowl. She's impressed me with some of her creations and it was past time that I got busy making my own. Ice cream is my best friend. I love it, such a guilty pleasure. Any frozen creamy dessert concoction really - ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato, sherbet, sorbet. Yes, please. Those who know me on social media are well aware of my addiction to a certain line of gelato products. It's a problem. But it was time for me to put my talents to use and try my hand at making my own. I'm about as excited as a little kid going to the ice cream shop when I think about all the infinitely creative flavors I can make at home.
One of my old Hatchery subscription boxes was the inspiration behind this particular ice cream recipe. The little jar of Meso Nutso Lavender Extract was so fun to play with that I went ahead and got the full size. Lavender is more of a floral scent to me than a flavor, but it makes an impact. In sweet applications, lavender works really well with cream, berries, honey and vanilla flavors. I haven't worked much with lavender buds other than an infused lemonade I made once and it took a bit of soaking and straining. The lavender extract was perfect and so much easier to use for baking.
My first successful experiment was a strawberry cardamom cake with a white chocolate lavender glaze and strawberry sugar. The flavors were really interesting and worked well together. Baking still isn't my favorite thing though, and I wasn't about to keep making cakes to get this one perfect. I knew I could do something a little more lavender forward so I went back to the drawing board.
With late spring comes an influx of berries at the markets and lavender peaks in the summer. I decided to keep things seasonally appropriate. A craving for fresh strawberry ice cream had been dancing in my head for awhile, but as usual I can't seem to settle on a plain version of anything and ended up turning it up several notches! I did decide on keeping the base of the ice cream vanilla as I'm a novice at making it, but it was easy to incorporate the lavender extract into that part of the recipe. Fresh berries would be the perfect compliment. All the berries looked so good when I went shopping and I couldn't help but grab them all. Strawberries. Blueberries. Blackberries. Why not? My original plan was to cook the berries down into a compote of sorts, but in a moment of laziness meets ingenuity I pureed and strained them to make a fresh berry coulis. That's just a fancy word for a thick, strained sauce made of veggies or fruit. At any rate, these berries were great quality and I didn't see the need to mess with them too much!
When I'm telling you my daughter eats strawberries like she needs them to survive, I'm not kidding. I have to steer her away from that section of the store or she sees them and throws a fit. You know that first basket of the season that actually tastes like strawberries? This was it. Not that it takes berries to get a child to eat ice cream, but trust me it sealed the deal. I let her have a few bites of ice cream before hiding the rest in the freezer for myself, because I'm selfish and a real mom. Judge away.
Ice cream is one of those things many people won't feel the need to make themselves. But if you have the equipment or have been looking for a reason to buy it, I've gotta say it's worth doing. The vanilla bean custard base I used for my recipe was adapted from The New York Times' Master Ice Cream Recipe. I found it to be really easy to follow and modify. This is one of those recipes that improves with the best quality ingredients you're able to use. Besides knowing exactly what goes into my ice cream, it's been a lot of fun to come up with flavors I like on my own. Who knows, maybe the next Hatchery box will inspire your next flavor!
2 c. organic heavy cream
1 c. organic whole milk
2/3 c. organic cane sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
6 large egg yolks
Prep Time: 30 min, plus overnight cooling and freezing
Cook Time: 20 min
Suggested Equipment: Medium nonstick pot, blender, ice cream maker, fine mesh strainer, shallow container to freeze ice cream, instant read thermometer