Lavender Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Lavender is one of our favorite flowers. We love the way it looks, we love the way it smells, and we LOVE to eat anything with lavender. As kids, one of our favorite restaurants, Corkscrew Cafe in Carmel Valley, used to serve up the most delicious lavender ice cream for dessert. Eventually, it was taken off the menu (if you hear us, PLEASE bring it back!) but we never forgot the deliciously floral flavor of this dessert. Lavender is in full bloom in Carmel Valley right now, so we were reminded of our long lost favorite dessert and decided to try to make it ourselves! If we do say so, we think this even more delicious than the original. We added vanilla bean to complement the lavender and we think it is just perfect! The ice cream base is adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream recipe book. Eve went to undergrad in Ohio, where she first tasted flavors like roasted strawberry buttermilk and goat cheese and cherry ice cream. Jeni's ice cream base is unbelievably creamy. You won't be able to eat just one scoop!

xxx Ivy & Eve

We use the Cuisinart Classic Ice Cream Maker for our ice cream adventures. The machine is super easy and there is no need for ice and salt like the old machines!

Ingredients 

Makes about 1 quart

2 cups whole milk

1 tbsp plus 1 tsp cornstarch

3 tbsp cream cheese, softened

1/8 tsp fine sea salt

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

2/3 cup sugar

2 tbsp light corn syrup

1/2 vanilla bean

2  heaping tbsp culinary lavender

 

Directions

  1. Combine 1 3/4 cup milk (minus 2 tbsp), 2/3 cup cream, and 2 tbsp lavender, and 1/2 vanilla bean sliced open, into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. remove from heat and let the mixture steep until desired flavor. (you can steep the lavender in a cheese cloth or strain after this step if you want a smoother texture, we like the lavender left in)
  2. While waiting mix remaining 2 tablespoons milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.
  3. Then whisk the cream cheese and salt into the slurry until smooth.
  4. Fill a large bowl with ice water.
  5. Combine the lavender vanilla bean milk mixture with sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a boil again for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch/cream cheese slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. 
  6. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon resealable plastic freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
  7. Pour the ice cream base into the ice cream machine canister and process according to manufacturer’s directions. 
  8. Pack the ice cream into a storage container. Place the ice cream in the freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

Bon Appétit!