This is easy to fall in love with, for both maker and eater. Essentially a basic gelato recipe, the only added step is adding the lavender buds. Some recipes call for steeping but I have found similar results in using the buds as they are. I think the heat does help with coaxing the essential oils anyway.
By the way, it may appear weird but I have found that bananas actually go very well with lavender, helping it offset some of its richness, if you happen to get the ripe bananas with a good amount of tartness.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup Double cream (or any 35% fat cream will do)
- 2 tablespoons lavender buds
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2/3 cup sugar
- In a heavy-bottom saucepan, combine milk, cream and lavender buds. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally so a skin doesn’t form, until tiny bubbles start to form around the edges and mixture reaches a temperature of 170 degrees. Boiling would also mean losing the essential oils of the lavender.
- Meanwhile, in a medium heat-proof bowl, whisk egg yolks until smooth. Gradually whisk in sugar until it is well incorporated and the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Temper egg yolks by very slowly pouring in hot milk mixture while whisking continuously. Return custard to saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and it reaches a temperature of 185 degrees. Do not bring to a boil.
- Pour mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl and let cool to room temperature, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Discard the lavender buds. To cool custard quickly, make an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water and placing the bowl with the custard in it; stir custard until cooled. Once completely cooled, cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight. If you rush this step, you’ll only get a block of semifreddo (which isn’t that bad anyway). Makes enough for about 1 quart (or 4 cups) of gelato.
- Churn according to your Ice-Cream maker instructions. If you do not have the machine, blitz the mixture in a blender after 3 hours of freezing, for at least 4 times with 30 mins in between. This will break up the ice crystals nicely.
Setting up an ice-bath speeds up the process. Great for impatient people like me. It isn’t complicated. Just find 2 bowls that can fit each other while allowing space for ice cubes and you’re good to go.
If your custard is cold enough, you should get an wall of frozen custard within mere seconds of churning. It’ll then lead to the next stage in 30mins or so.
You should be rewarded with a voluptuous mess of mixture resembling what gelaterias put on display. It should stretch easily like taffy. Just keep it in an air tight container and stash away in the coldest part of your freezer. The colder the better.