Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lavender and Honey ice cream

Sunday’s when I’m on my own are meant to be about housework but generally tend to be about cooking (if I get domestic at all). Today has been all about cooking – as was last night sort of, partly in an attempt to avoid the twin evils of football and big brother.

After my foray into ice cream making a couple of weeks back a friend asked me if I had a recipe for a lavender and honey version. It felt a bit like serendipity because I’d been eyeing up just such a thing in Sarah Raven’s ‘Garden Cookbook’ and as another egg free ice cream (but this time with the exciting addition of condensed milk) there seemed no better time than to give it a go. I added some nutmeg because I once had an ice cream at a national trust place that was inspired by Elizabethan herb gardens or some such – the point being it was very nice and the nutmeg was a nod in its direction.

I’ll be honest I’m not entirely sure about the flavour; I think it needs to go with something. I’ve made the apple pudding cake again because it seems like a likely contender and not a bad accompaniment to Sunday night viewing either. The best way I can think to describe the flavour of lavender (apart from saying it tastes like it smells) is of a slightly smoky floral tea. I like cooking with it, love lavender jelly in particular, and indeed as the Scottish one and other unwilling guinea pigs will testify I’ll slip a few flowers into food on the slimmest of pretexts...

Flavour aside (and it’s becoming an acquired taste) the texture of this ice cream is amazing and absolutely worth making so this is it as I made it (for most likely better results see the Sarah Raven book – it’s well worth having)

(Quantities are for my ice cream machine which is small)

300ml whole milk

2 tablespoons honey

4-6 stalks and heads of lavender

1 vanilla pod split

Pinch of salt

125ml condensed milk

300ml double cream

A good grating of nutmeg (very optional)

Heat the milk with the honey, lavender flowers, and vanilla pod until just below boiling. Take off the heat and allow to cool completely, then poor through a sieve to remove the lavender and Vanilla, then chill for half an hour in the fridge.

Add the salt, condensed milk, and cream, mix thoroughly then poor into an ice cream maker and churn for 20 minutes. (if you don’t have an ice cream maker it goes straight into the freezer and needs to be stirred every half an hour for a couple of hours)

Put into a container and freeze for a minimum of 4 hours but better yet at least over night...

And finally a picture of some Morris dancers – dancing outside my sister’s house last week, a very entertaining evening which could only have been improved with the addition of ice cream.


  1. I'm not a fan of lavender in food - Naomi (Bloomsbury Bell)made me eat lavender cake once and it was not my cup of tea at all. I don't like floral teas either - Earl Grey is hell in a cup for me! Even so I am intrigued by this, as the combo of floral plus honey = sounds delicious. I don't have an ice cream maker though. Can you just use a container of sorts and keep stirring at intervals?

  2. Thanks for the recipe, I will definately be making this, also your strawberry and basil and cheekily if you are interested am very keen to make some chilli ice cream( ??? )

  3. Rachel - I agree abour Earl Grey being hell in a cup, but I quite like Lavender in food (as long as there's enough sugar like in the jelly) the cake sounds interesting. Never tried stirring ice cream but it should work:)

    Tam, no problem, will see if I can find a chilli recipe or something that would adapt to chilli, must must catch up soon.

  4. So why didn't you bring some ice-cream with you then my dear? I had room in the freezer!

  5. You never have any room in the freezer. Ever.

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  7. That sounds intriguing. I had two dairy free IC experiments this week, one successful - soya cream and strawberry semi-freddo, surprisingly yummy, and a vile banana and soya milk based one. Urgghhhh.

  8. I can recommend the ice cream! It was really smooth and satisfying.It had the texture of "proper" ice cream that I was given as a childhood treat. The lavender was just subtle enough to make it aromatic and it was a fine accompaniment to the delicious apple pud you baked!

  9. Verity, I've never tried soya milk, no idea what it's like but have you tried almond or rice milk? and if so any reports?

    Ah Blonde lady friend your approval is much appreciated the ice cream was indeed very nice with the apple cake and is going in the little black recipe book to be made again.

    Bibliophiliac - thank you for your very kind thought there, I do enjoy your blog and pop by regularly

  10. I had rice milk once and it was like drinking white coloured water! I don't think milk is really great for ice cream unless in combination with things that make it into custard - banana just didn't cut it I'm afraid! Still, the search for decent dairy fre IC continues (sadly, the rest of the semi freddo turned to a block of ice after another 24 hours in the freezer and was quite inedible).