Friday, July 20, 2012

Lavender and Honey Ice Cream.

Rich is away for his bachelor party, leaving me all alone for the weekend.....
I LOVE this. Don't get me wrong- I love living with Richard, obviously, but a little girly alone time is not something to be taken for granted! I have a very busy schedule of pedicures, shopping, puppy cuddling, and movie watching (rom-coms, of course) ahead of me this weekend. With only a little more than 5 weeks until our wedding, I am really looking forward to not doing one productive thing for 4 whole days! This morning, however, I began my first solo day in the best possible way with a one on one baking lesson from one of the most amazing southern exports living in Los Angeles.

Ms. Kathy Emerson, owner of La Weekend baked goods, is hands down the best baker I have ever met... not too mention one of the coolest women of all time. I met Kathy a few weeks ago at a wine tasting at Domaine LA Wine Shop where she was featuring some of her amazing southern baked goods. After expressing my love for southern food (and after indulging in a slice of buttermilk pie...or three) she offered to take me under her wing and teach me a thing or two. So, I showed up to her adorable loft this morning and was schooled in pie making, recipes, and lumples. Ohhhh lumples. A cross between a scone and a biscuit, lumples are my favorite new treat. It is taking every bit of will power I have to not eat the whole batch that is taunting me from the next room. D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S.

Lavender and Blueberry Lumples.

Yes, Lavender. Let's talk about lavender for a moment.....

I know I have expressed my undying affection for it several times, but let's just make sure we are clear one more time.... I LOVE LAVENDER. 

I love them smell, the color, the taste.... all of it. I have found every way possible to incorporate it into our wedding, our house, and my cooking. I just can't get enough. 

Kathy, being the doll that she is, sent me home today with a jar of culinary lavender from North Carolina. 
Me, being the crazy person that I am, decided to go ahead and really put it to use. I may have gone a bit over board........

On the menu? Lavender and honey ice cream and lavender shortbread with lemon zest. 

I posted a recipe for Lavender ice cream a few months ago, but today I decided to step it up a notch and try a new recipe. Ice cream traditionally has eggs in it, but for the sake of ease (and calories) I usually leave the egg out when I make ice cream at home. Leaving the egg out creates a lighter, healthier frozen treat which is usually ideal for me.  However, having the house to myself today seemed like the perfect time to experiment a bit. 

Lavender and Honey Ice Cream

2 cups whole milk
3 Tablespoons culinary lavender buds
1/3 cup honey
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream

In a medium saucepan, combine lavender, honey and whole milk. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, cover, and remove from heat. Let steep for 5 minutes. Then strain the milk through a fine mesh sieve and discard the lavender buds. Set the milk aside. 

Combine the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk together for about 3 minutes until the eggs become thick and pale. 

Return the milk mixture to the stovetop and bring to a simmer over low-medium heat. Very slowly add a little of the hot milk to the egg mixture. Keep adding the hot milk until you have added half. Then stir the egg mixture into the remaining hot milk and continue to cook over medium heat while stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened a bit...enough to coat the back of a spoon. This process is called tempering.... and be sure to do it carefully or else you will end up with a bowl full of hot milk and scrambled eggs.

Once thickened, remove the mixture from heat and strain it one more time. Place mixture in an ice bath or in the refrigerator until chilled. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions. 

Enjoy... I know I will!!

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