1 tablespoon fresh lavender flowers* (Lavandula angustifolia)or 1 ½ tablespoons dried lavender flowers
3 lemon zest strips, each about 2 inches long
3 cups half and half
1 cup heavy cream
8 large egg yolks
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the lavender, lemon zest, half-and-half, and cream and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often. Remove from the heat, cover and leave to infuse for 1 hour.
- In a bowl, combine the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla and whisk until pale and thick, about 2 minutes. Uncover the lavender-cream infusion, return to the stove top, and bring back to a simmer. Whisk ½ cup of the hot cream mixture into the yolk-sugar mixture and, while whisking constantly, pour it all back into cream mixture. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens enough to coat a wooden spoon or registers 185˚F on an instant-read thermometer, 3 to 4 minutes. Do not allow the custard to boil or it will curdle. Remove from the heat and immediately pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Place the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water and allow to chill thoroughly, stirring occasionally. Stir in the lemon juice, cover, and refridgerate until ready to freeze.
- Pour the chilled custard into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.