...And a lot goes way too far. I decided to try out lavender ice cream. A recipe search on Google revealed that a lot of people have actually made quite a few variations of honey lavender ice cream. It sounded like a good idea, so I decided to try it out, even though I'm not a really huge fan of honey.
Now, for the amount of ice cream I usually make, it looked like people were using 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup of lavender. I was going to go with 1/4 cup, and at the last minute, I bumped it up to 1/2 cup. Cold masks flavor, and I wasn't planning on lavender having a huge amount of flavor, so I decided the extra amount would be needed. I also noticed that instead of my 3/4 cup sugar, people were going with 1/4 cup sugar plus 1/3 cup honey. Makes sense to me: honey is more dense than granulated sugar, so the smaller amount would probably just about even out. So, ingredients were as follows:
1 pint milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons stabilizer
4 oz cream cheese, softened
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup dried lavender
I put it together via the curd method that I've grown so fond of, and let it chill. It tasted pretty good so far. A good bit of lavender flavor, with a strong honey finish. A couple of hours later, Daphne called. She's a good friend from cooking school that I've managed to keep in touch with. I told her about my creation that was currently aging in the fridge, and she warned me that too much lavender could get bitter. Um. Oops.
Today I strained out the lavender petals and churned it in the ice cream maker. As I was putting it in the freezer, I couldn't resist a taste. Whoa! It was such a lavender overload, that it did actually taste bitter, especially the aftertaste. Where I was a little worried from the initial taste that the honey would overpower the lavender, there was no honey flavor left.
I think that if I dropped the lavender flavor down to 1/4 cup or less, it would be a pretty good ice cream. I'm guessing at the moment that 3 tablespoons would be a good compromise. But now you and I have both been warned, go easy on the lavender.