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Old 06-04-2008, 09:53 AM   #1
Master Chef
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Metro New York
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Lavender Caramel Ice Cream

Lavender Caramel Ice Cream

makes 1 1/2 quarts

1 1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons lavender flowers
1 1/2 teaspoons water
3 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons crème fraîche or heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 large egg yolks

1. In a small, heavy saucepan, combine 2 tablespoons of the sugar, 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of lavender and 1 1/2 teaspoon of water. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture dries (2 to 3 minutes). Transfer to a plate to cool, then grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder or a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Set aside.
2. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the milk, crème fraîche, vanilla bean and remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar and 1/2 teaspoon lavender. Cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot (about 8 minutes).
3. Remove from heat, cover and let the mixture steep for 15 minutes. Strain the milk through a fine-mesh sieve and return it to the saucepan.
4. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks until blended. Gradually whisk in one-third of the warmed milk mixture in a thin stream, then whisk the mixture back into the remaining milk in the saucepan. Stir in the reserved lavender powder.
5. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard lightly coats the back of a spoon (about 5 to 7 minutes). BE CAREFUL NOT LET THE MIXTURE BOIL!
6. Immediately remove from the heat and strain the custard into a medium bowl. Set the bowl in a larger bowl of ice and water, and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. (Or, you can use the refrigerator [or freezer]). Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours, or overnight.
7. Pour the custard into an ice cream freezer and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Teacher’s Tip: The lavender powder can be made in advance and frozen for up to 3 weeks in an airtight container.

Wine is the food that completes the meal.
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