Lavender Ice Cream

These days, we want to taste something a little more exotic than vanilla or chocolate.  Lavender ice cream is a real treat.  If you cannot find fresh lavender, use 1/2 tablespoon dried, but make certain you use edible lavender.

Lavender Ice Cream
Makes one quart

Ingredients:
Lavender Sugar:
1 cup organic sugar
6 sprigs fresh lavender or 1 tablespoon fresh lavender buds

Ice Cream:
1 quart heavy cream
1 cup lavender sugar
1 cup full fat milk
6 organic large egg yolks, room temperature

Directions:
For the lavender sugar:
Mix the sugar and lavender in a glass jar.  Cover and let sit for at least 2 days and up to 1 week.  Remove the lavender.  Store the lavender sugar until needed.

For the ice cream:
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, milk and lavender sugar, and bring to a simmer.  Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to steep for 30 minutes.  Mix the eggs and temper them into the cream.  Return to the stovetop and cook until thickened on low heat.  When thickened, set in refrigerator to cool and make ice cream according to manufacturer’s directions.

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Growing Lavender for Lavender Creme Brulee

While Chef Bill Atwood takes the classics and updates them to keep them fresh and    new, it’s his partner and spouse Denise Atwood who tends the lovely gardens surrounding the Red Pheasant Inn in addition to managing the front of the house.  The gardens produce lots of wonderful greens and many herbs that Chef Atwood uses in his menus.  Denise loves lavender and last week she harvested some for Bill to use in a fabulous Creme Brulee. Chef Atwood was generous enough to share his Lavender Creme Brulee recipe with you.

Chef Atwood feels it is very important to measure precisely when he is baking but, for the home baker, we’ve converted his measurements.

                                                       Lavender Creme Brulee

Makes 10 -11 Brulee depending on your dish size

Ingredients

750 grams of heavy cream (3 1/4 cups & 1 Tablespoon)
250 grams milk (1 cup & 2 Tablespoons)
200 grams sugar (3/4 cup & 2 Tablespoons)
10 egg yolks
1/4 to 1/2 cup lavender flowers (no stems which are bitter) –
use less lavender flowers for dried, more for fresh
Sugar for caramelizing top

Directions

Add the lavender flowers to the cream and milk and scald.
Whip egg yolks with sugar to a soft ribbon.
Temper with cream and milk mixture
Strain through a chinoise (or a fine strainer)
Fill ramekins and bake @ 350 1/2 hour in water bath until set
Make a day ahead of time for best flavor.
Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Sprinkle with sugar on top.  Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top.  Garnish with a lavender flower.   Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Bon appetit!