Recipe: Honey-Lavender Ice Cream

May 14, 2009 at 2:22 am | Posted in Life, Lumpy | 2 Comments
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Honey-Lavender ice cream by emmar on flickr

Honey-Lavender ice cream by emmar on flickr

So, as many of you know, my birthday is fast approaching, and as some of you know, I had a birthday party yesterday! Taking my own advice, I decided to have an ice cream bar. My intention was for the party to be entirely vegan – and dinner was, &I offered five different types of dairy-free ice cream, all of which were delicious! – however… this was before I checked the mail. Yes, on Friday, the newest issue of Fine Cooking magazine (love!) arrived at work, and, lo! A recipe for ice cream & instructions on varieties was one of their features! Thusly, the “entirely vegan ice cream bar birthday extravaganza!” idea was… not scrapped. Let’s say “enhanced,” shall we? Homemade is always wonderful too, right?

Thusly, I am posting for you the recipe for the variation I discovered: Honey-Lavender Ice Cream! I suggest doing this recipe early in the day – of course I rushed into it without paying much attention to the times stated in the recipe, and ended up having to leave it refrigerated overnight & ask my mother to take care of it while I was at work (I wasn’t using an ice cream maker, so it needed to be whipped every so often while freezing – more later) – Thanks mom!!

Honey-Lavender Ice Cream

Yields about 1 quart

Difficulty: Intermediate



  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of table salt
  • 5 large egg yolks


  • 2 Tablespoons dried lavender flowers
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon honey


  1. In a medium saucepan, mix 1 cup of the cream with the milk, sugar, and salt. Warm the cream mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and tiny bubbles begin to form around the edges of the pan, 3-4 minutes.
  2. Stir in lavender. Cover, remove from heat, and let sit for one hour. Taste and let sit longer if it is not strong enough for you.
  3. Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with cold water and a bit of  ice. Set a smaller metal bowl (one that holds at least 1 1/2  quarts/6 cups) in the ice water. Pour the remaining cup of cream into the inner bowl (this helps the custard cool quicker when you pour it in later). Set a fine strainer on top. Whisk egg yolks in a medium bowl.
  4. Re-warm cream mixture over medium-high heat until tiny bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan, 1 to 2 minutes. In a steady stream, pour half the warm cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to prevent curdling.
  5. pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook it over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heatproof  cooking spoon or rubber spatula until the custard is nappé (this means it has thickened slightly, enough to coat the utensil and hold a line drawn through it with a finger), 4 to 8 minutes. An instant-read thermometer should read 175 to 180 degrees F at this point. Don’t let the sauce overheat or boil, or it will curdle. Immediately strain the custard into the cold cream in the ice bath. Press firmly in the strainer with the spoon to extract as much flavorful lavender oil from the flowers as possible. Cool the custard to below 70 degrees F by stirring it over the ice bath.
  6. Mix together honey and vanilla in a small bowl. Once the custard has cooled, stir in the honey-vanilla mixture.
  7. Remove from the ice bath and refrigerate, covered, until completely cooled, at least 4 hours. Then freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to you manufacturers’ instructions*. Transfer the ice cream to an air-tight container and freeze solid for at least 4 hours.

*If you do not have an ice cream maker, never fear! You can freeze the ice cream in a bowl in your freeze. Check it after about an hour; once it starts freezing, blitz through it with a hand-held mixer and then return it to the freezer. Repeat every so often as the mixture is freezing, until the ice cream is completely whipped and frozen. This is the method I used and it worked amazingly!

Some variations to infuse (instead of the lavender):

  • Toasted nuts: 1 1/2 cups coarsely crushed
  • Fresh herbs such as mint: 1 cup tightly packed, coarsely torn leaves
  • Orange: Finely grated zest of 4 medium oranges
  • Tea: 1/2 cup loose black tea leaves, such as Earl Grey, English Breakfast, or masala chai

Some variations to add (instead of honey + vanilla):

  • Liqueur/liquor: 3 to 4 Tablespoons. Bailey’s, amaretto, Kahlua, Cognac, etc.
  • Lemon: 1/4 cup strained fresh lemon juice
  • Mascarpone: 1 cup mascarpone
  • Extracts: 2 teaspoons. Peppermint, almond, etc.

Before freezing, you can also mix in other goodies, such as:

  • Mini-marshmallows
  • Jam or marmalade
  • Nutella
  • Chopped nuts
  • Chopped crystallized ginger
  • Crushed peppermints

I’d like to repeat that while the (rather unoriginal) combination of honey-lavender was my idea, the recipe itself is from Fine Cooking  magazine, June/July issue which honestly I highly recommend. I’ve been following the magazine for only 3 or so issues but this is by far my favorite! If you get a chance I really recommend picking it up.

(Excuse the borrowed picture, everyone – we gobbled up my batch before I could photograph it!)



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  1. Mint leaf ice cream would be delicious 😀

  2. I am not really an ice cream fan – its not that I don’t like it – its not a priority!! But I might change my mind for lavender/honey ice crean or mint leaf ice cream!!

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