The first dessert I made with lavender flower- following a meal of green beans with macaroni and cheese (fancy, eh?)- was lavender shortbread and chocolate custards. The mellow-making sweetness of lavender enhanced the floral qualities of the chocolate, making for a romantic finale to a humble supper.
Even more romantic is this ice cream, drizzled with good, homemade chocolate sauce or paired with a slice of dark chocolate cake (I DARE you to try it with a chocolate-cherry shortcake). Or snub the chocolate and top with sliced, juicy peaches, strawberries, apricots, plums, cherries, figs, nectarines, or wine-roasted pears.
Top with whipped cream and you've got one helluva sundae!
Honey Lavender Ice Cream
If you're lucky enough to have have a jar of lavender honey in your cupboard, by all means use it! Just cut the lavender called for in this recipe by half.
2 c milk
3/4 c light, fragrant honey
1 tbl dried culinary lavender (found most places herbs are sold in bulk), or 1 1/2 tbl fresh, chopped
pinch of salt
2 c heavy cream
Combine milk, salt, honey, and lavender and scald over medium heat. Remove from heat, cover, and steep for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk yolks until they've thickened slightly, about a minute. Reheat steeped milk until hot, then stream in 1/4 of the mixture into the yolks, whisking all the while. Return this mixture to the saucepan, still whisking.
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or heat-proof rubber spatula. When the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon (170 degrees F), strain through a fine-meshed strainer into a bowl containing the heavy cream. Whisk and chill completely. Freeze in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions.