This week was botanical week on The Great British Bake Off so we decided to get creative and came up with this ice cream.
In the garden, we had the last of the lavender flowers as September has been warm and sunny so it seemed like a good idea to try and incorporate these into our cooking. We also had been gifted a nice jar of Fortnum & Mason Lavender and Borage honey so this was a good opportunity to try this too!
The ice bowl is always a pretty way to serve ice cream. Its super easy to do and makes a simple dish into a centre piece, plus it saves on the washing up as it just melts away!
· 250ml full fat organic milk
· 125ml organic double cream
· 2 duck egg yolks
· 90g caster sugar
· few lavender flower heads or 2/3 drops of food grade lavender oil
· 1 tbsp of borage honey. We used Fortnam & Masons.
· Lavender flowers for decoration
1. Pour the milk and cream into a large saucepan and heat gently, stirring occasionally until the mixture steams. Do not let it boil.
2. Whisk the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl until smooth. Add the sugar and whisk until pale. Gradually slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture. Whisk continually to stop the eggs scrambling.
3. Return the mixture to the saucepan and place over a low heat. Add either the lavender flowers or oil, stirring continuously until the mixture forms a thin custard and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Do not let it boil. If using flowers, then use the back of the spoon to press down hard on the flowers to release the flavour into the mixture.
4. Pour the mixture back into the bowl, set aside and allow to cool. Approx. 30 minutes. For a more rapid cool, fill a sink with ice water and place the bowl carefully in the sink. DO NOT ever put the warm mixture into a fridge.
5. Once cooled, cover the mixture and refrigerate, ideally overnight.
6. Next strain the mixture through a sieve to remove the flower pieces. Stir in the honey. Pour into an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Or if making by hand, pour the mixture into a container, cover with a lid and put into the freezer for about 30 minutes. Remove from the freezer and beat with an electric whisk to break up any ice crystals and then return to the freezer. Repeat this process over the next 2 to 3 hours and then finally leave to freeze completely.
7. When churning is complete, scrape the mixture into a container and freeze completely or into soft scooping consistency.
8. Remove from freezer to serve, scoop and decorate with the remaining lavender flowers.
9. We served this ice cream in a botanical ice bowl which we had made. This makes a lovely centre piece for a summer lunch or dinner party but just remember the ice bowl will melt if it is a hot day!
Top Tip…Keep the churning bowl of the Ice Cream maker covered in a plastic bag in the freezer. The bag will stop freezer burn on your hands when you remove it from the freezer and keeping the bowl always in the freezer gives you the freedom to always make Ice Cream when you fancy it!