Lavender Honey Ice Cream

By Elizabeth Gawthrop Riely

This recipe appeared in an article I wrote for Edible Boston a few years ago, but it merits inclusion here. The delicate ice cream is flavored with lavender honey, typical of Provence where billowy swirls of the plant fill the landscape in summer. Instead of lavender, you could use thyme or honey of another flower to impart its subtle perfume. Because the flavors are transparent, use fine-quality honey here.

Makes about 1 quart.

2 cups light cream
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup lavender honey
1 cup heavy cream

Put the light cream in a small saucepan and scald over high heat until little bubbles appear around the edges; do not let it boil.

Meanwhile, in a larger saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks and honey until they are thoroughly blended. In a slow steady stream, pour the scalded cream into the honey-yolk mixture. Cook it over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon heavily. Watch closely so the egg yolks don’t scramble. Cool the custard. Cover and chill completely.

Whip the heavy cream until it begins to mount and stir it into the chilled custard. Freeze the ice cream mixture in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions. You can also freeze it in a covered bowl, stirring at intervals to smooth the crystals as they form.

The texture of this ice cream is best when it’s made about 2 hours before serving. If made ahead and frozen hard, be sure to soften it slightly in the refrigerator before serving.