Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lavender + Peach + Honey Ice Cream

Yeah, this first Memphis heat wave's getting just a little bit intense now, isn't it? It looks like the 3-burning-hot-suns-in-a-row graphic on the National Weather Service site promise plenty more of it as we get into next week. It's obviously time to break out your ice cream maker and get to work!

We just bought Jones Orchard peaches in anticipation of one of the first big signs of summer: peach ice cream. This one is a smooth, blended version with a pretty scent from the lavender simple syrup.

(You should know that there was some major hand-wringing this week over getting this recipe right. One nameless person forgot to put the paddle in the freezer bowl of the ice cream machine and also didn't add enough fat to the mix. So we thawed out the first attempt and added some cream. Then we thought it tasted too plain, and we added the lavender syrup and the whipped honey. Salt was the last addition, but then we threw in a little more lemon juice. We put it in the machine again, and nervously sampled it after the hard freeze: finally, success!)

Lavender + Peach + Honey Ice Cream

5 sprigs fresh lavender (stems must be removed)
1/2 cup cane sugar
1/2 cup water

8 peaches, peeled and smashed
3 cups milk
1 container Greek yogurt
1 small container of heavy cream
3/4 cup cane sugar
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla paste
2 tbsp. whipped honey
juice from one lemon
2 tsp. salt

Combine lavender leaves, sugar, and water in a saucepan on medium-high heat. Stir it and allow it to thicken, which will take about 15 minutes. Put heat on low and simmer. Once you can coat a silicone spatula with the syrup and it's about half of what it was to begin with, it's done. Set it aside to cool; be sure to strain out all of the spent lavender leaves.

Whisk the rest of the ingredients together and also add in the cooled lavender syrup. Put it all in a blender and blend until smooth because no one really likes big chunks of dense frozen fruit in their ice cream. Pour the mixture in your ice cream maker and let it do its job. Crucial yet annoying last step: transfer the ice cream to a container so that it can harden off in the freezer for a few hours. Because of this, it is a good thing to make ahead of time because the more time it has to set, the better.


Tiffany L. said...

I've been chomping at the bit for the fresh peaches. Right now, I'm working on a recipe for a chilled peach and yogurt soup. I had a delicious version down in Charleston at Queen 82, and I'm trying to create something similar. I've gotten a couple of recipes online, but nothing has worked out quite like I wanted it to. Do you have a recipe or any tips?

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

I would choose to stay on the sweet, dessert-y side or regular-soup savory side first. Then you can add some sort of creaminess depending on which way you go: a swirl of honey or plain greek yogurt, créme fraiche, whipped cream... Maybe add an herb like thyme for savory or lemon verbena for sweet?

I would also blend the peaches a lot without the skins and strain the juices through a sieve in order to get it really smooth. Sea salt it, too!


Tiffany L. said...

Great! Thanks for the tips!

Anonymous said...

How many oz is 1 container of greek yogurt? Looking forward to making it!

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

It is 8 oz. Let us know how it goes!