Ryan Thomas is a university graduate who enjoys cooking recipes from a wide variety of culinary traditions.
Too Many Apples?
What do you do with scores upon scores of apples? One of my neighbors has no fewer than three apple trees, and though I didn't get all of the apples, since some of them were unreachable even with ladders, I still harvested enough to make it a pain to carry them back home in a giant basket.
Apples, apples, apples! Apple pie? Apple crumble? Apple pudding? Just eating them straight? My idea was to make apple butter out of them, to enjoy them for weeks and months to come! But then, what do you do with jar after jar of apple butter? All back to the original question!
So what about something original? Perhaps something like apple lavender ice cream. Two flavors that seem like they would go very well together—light, crisp, and refreshing, with the preserved flavors of summer or spring mixed in. Maybe ice cream is a bit chilly for these late autumn temperatures, with torrential sheets of rain for weeks on end, but that doesn't seem to stop people from eating ice cream anyway!
It was a bit of a challenge to find the lavender in the store (I thought that lavender honey must surely be more popular), but with some lavender sprigs and a lot of apple butter, it was possible to set to work in the end!
This apple lavender ice cream has a wonderful mixture of spices from the apple butter (like cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar), the crispness of apples, and the gentle floral notes of lavender. Its wonderful trifecta makes it tantalizing and elusive, at once both strong and perfumed. A real pleasure to eat, especially with some whipped cream!
The recipe is entirely my own.
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- 2 cups apple butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 6 egg yolks
- 2 cups milk
- 2 bunches lavender
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- In a medium saucepan, place the lavender bunches and the milk together. Over a low flame, heat the milk and allow the milk to infuse for 20 minutes.
- In a separate large saucepan, combine the heavy cream and apple butter. Heat until they dissolve together without any roughness.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the sugar with the egg yolks until they are a pale yellow and thick. Whisk in part of the heavy cream mixture and combine. After it is mixed, return all of this back to the saucepan.
- Pour in the lavender-infused milk through a strainer into the cream, and then add the vanilla extract. Over low heat, cook for 15 minutes until the mixture thickens and forms a custard coating the back of a spoon.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before putting in the refrigerator, and once thoroughly chilled, process as appropriate in an ice cream maker and tnen allow to cool for 8 hours or overnight.