This post was last updated on February 4th, 2014 at 10:30 am
We came home from the 4th Annual Lavender Festival in Paso Robles committed to using more lavender in our cooking. We are looking at almost uncharted waters. Other than adding lavender flowers to cookie dough, there are precious few suggestions on how to use lavender as flavoring.
Wisdom has dictated trying new ideas in very small amounts. That’s tough for me. I’m not known for doing anything in a small way.
Three of us ate the results of this ice cream experiment. If you have more than three folks around who enjoy ice cream, then double or triple the amounts. Of course, you can also hide and eat it all yourself. Personally, I love hearing the kids smack their lips and slurp up the melted stuff from the bottom of the bowl.
What I made in the skillet cooled to be a fine jam consistency. You could find it convenient to just use one of your good home-made jams. After swooning over the flavor of the lavender plum swirl on the vanilla ice cream, I decided to make one more batch of plum jam — this one with lots of crushed lavender buds.
Lavender-Plum Ice Cream Ingredients
- 6 plums, peeled, pitted and sliced
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 heaping tablespoon of culinary lavender buds, crushed
- 1 pint of good quality vanilla ice cream, preferably homemade
Lavender-Plum Ice Cream Steps
- Warm a heavy skillet over medium heat.
- Add the water and plum slices. The water will give the plums a little boost as they begin to release their juices.
- Drizzle the honey and lavender buds over the plums and cook until the plum slices begin to fall apart. Stir every couple of minutes. Depending on the variety of plum you are using, you may need to stand by the stove top and stir continually to keep the plums from burning. The plums will cook in 3-4 minutes.
- Taste for sweetness and add a bit more honey if needed to meet your sweet cravings.
- Allow the plum mixture to cool completely.
- While the plums are cooking, soften the pint of vanilla ice cream. You want it to be soft enough to spread nicely in a flat baking dish.
- Spread out the ice cream, cover and return it to the freezer while the plum swirl is cooling.
- Once the ice cream is solid again and the plum mixture is cooled, spread the plums evenly over the vanilla ice cream and return to the freezer. At this point you may think your dessert looks like a failed science experiment, but you are not done!
- Pull the pan of ice cream and plum mixture from the freezer several minutes before you plan to serve it. The ice cream needs to soften enough to be readily scooped.
- Press an ice cream scoop down into the ice cream at one end of your container. Keep pressing down as you drag the scoop toward the other end of the container. The ice cream will roll and form a ball with the plum mixture swirling with the vanilla ice cream. When the ball is large enough for the cone or the serving bowl, lift the scoop carefully and gently place the ice cream in its serving container.
- Garnish with mint or lemon balm.
A Production Note
Amanda was not eating sweets when I made this dish. She was dependent on Frederick and Alastair to give her a report on how successful we were. She arrived on the scene too late to watch and listen. “So, how did it go over?” she asked. I handed her Frederick’s bowl. He had licked it clean.