January 06, 2013

Pure Lavande

January 6, 2013 Photo of the day:
"Pure Lavande"

Mmmm, I wish you could smell it!
Knowing how much I love the fragrance of lavender,
my French friends generously send soap and sachets
to infuse my home with the perfume of Provence.

The first time I saw Provençal lavender fields, I was enchanted!
Imagine rows & rows of fragrant, vibrant blossoms!

Every summer, I optimistically plant lavender in my garden,
although the weather in Provence and Wisconsin couldn't be more different.

Some seasons are more successful than others.

Whenever I'm in the South of France,
my favorite treat is lavender ice cream.

Bon appétit!

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

In a medium saucepan, combine milk, lavender, and honey. Bring to a gentle boil, cover, and remove from heat. Let steep for 5 minutes. Strain mixture, reserving milk and discarding lavender.

Combine egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until very thick and pale yellow, 3 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, return milk to a medium saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.

Add half the milk to egg-yolk mixture, and whisk until blended. Stir mixture into remaining milk, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Remove from heat, and immediately stir in cream. Strain mixture into a medium mixing bowl set in an ice-water bath, and let stand until chilled, stirring from time to time. Freeze in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Store in an airtight plastic container up to 2 weeks.