Thursday, June 20, 2013

Blueberry Lavender Ice Cream Flowers

I have always loved blueberries.  I keep a bag of them in the freezer to have with yogurt or on ice cream and am in heaven when they are in season.  What’s not to love about them?  They are incredibly good for you –– full of manganese, vitamins A, B1, B2, C, niacin, and the minerals calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and iron, fiber, and antioxidant.  They also have resveratrol, that magic stuff that is supposed to keep you young when you eat it –– you know, the stuff that red wine is rich in.  They’re good for your blood pressure, depression and may even lower cholesterol.  Native Americans called them ‘star berries” and believed the Great Spirit sent star berries to relieve children’s hunger during famine. They made a corn cake with blueberries that the pilgrims probably enjoyed at their first Thanksgiving, according to the Blueberry Council.

Robert Frost wrote a poem about them that began:

"YOU ought to have seen what I saw on my way
To the village, through Mortenson's pasture to-day:
Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb,
Real sky-blue, and heavy, and ready to drum
In the cavernous pail of the first one to come!
And all ripe together, not some of them green
And some of them ripe! You ought to have seen!"

and ended:

“You ought to have seen how it looked in the rain,
The fruit mixed with water in layers of leaves,
Like two kinds of jewels, a vision for thieves.”

They are a fabulous color, aren’t they? I love the purple dye that colors the cream a perfect lavender color.


That got me to thinking the other day when I found myself with blueberries and cream in the fridge –– I would make a favorite summer ice cream, blueberry lavender.  No, not just the color but a hint of the flower lavender.  I can’t remember what made me combine them years ago, but I’ve been doing it ever since.  It leaves a lovely fragrance in your mouth after you eat it. You can use lavender flowers or one of my favorite ingredients, Aftelier Lavender Essence that imparts the soul of lavender to the mixture. You can just use scoops or old ice cream molds that make it very special  to look at and delicious.

Remember if you use a mold, just hold the top of the mold for a moment, then pull away the top. Warm your hand for the top and use a warm cloth for the bottom where the detail isn't as important (or your hand after you've warmed it up!).  I used a lobster pick to pop out the bottom.  If you leave it on too long or too warm, you will lose the detail in the mold. Do not run it under hot water (did that the first time and lost all the detail to mush). If you only have a few molds, you can save them in the freezer and keep making more with softened ice cream.  

I have seen silicon molds that come in sheets like cupcakes too (you can see one here: World Cuisine Non-Stick Silicone Mold, Rose) -- they don't have the bottom detail (that you don't see anyway!). I can't tell you the trick to them so you may have to experiment.  Mine was a very heavy old French metal model on a hinge with a top and bottom.

Blue berry Lavender Ice Cream

1 ½ c whole milk
1 ½ c cream
¾ c sugar
4 egg yolks
1 ½ c blueberries
1 T maple syrup
1 t vanilla extract
2-3 drops Aftelier Lavender Essence or 2 T lavender blossoms 
use rose geranium leaves and/or lemon verbena for garnish (optional)

Heat the milk and the cream with ¼ c sugar till sugar dissolves.  Remove from the heat.

Beat the yolks with the rest of the sugar until lemony colored and thick.  Pour the hot milk mixture into the bowl, beating all the while.  Clean the pot and return the mixture to the stove, it will be around 150º.  Heat the custard till no more than 180º stirring constantly.

Pour the custard through a strainer, stir in the vanilla and chill.

Puree the blueberries with the maple syrup and the lavender.  Chill.  When chilled, add to the custard mixture and freeze with your ice cream maker

OR, easier...

Use softened vanilla ice cream and add the pureed blueberries and lavender.

OR, easier still

Use softened blueberry ice cream and add lavender

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La Table De Nana said...

You are the first to mold the ice cream..what a geniusly pretty idea..
Yes I invented that to go with the ice cream:)
They are beautiful little healthy fruits that I love to keep on hand too.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Momma mia.....teehehee

You are talking about two of my favorite flavors TOGETHER!

Deana, when I was in Nice, France, I should have gone into this fantastic little ice cream shop that sold the most gorgeous ice creams and gelatos. One of the flavors was lavender. I had so much to distract me from ever going in, but I wondered what it would have tasted like. This combination that you offer is perfect for me, since I enjoy eating blueberries in summer and frozen in winter. I need to get that lavender essence because I also enjoy using this flavor in my cooking!

AND THANK YOU for coming for a visit. I am thrilled to be taking a poetry writing class with my husband! Some people might think it's pointless to take poetry, but I love what the beloved Stanley Kunitz said about poetry: "....poetry is the last form of uncorrupted art because it holds no market value." WOW! It's time to stop worrying about chasing all that has market value and pursue what is valuable to my heart and mind. ENJOY YOUR ENDEAVORS! Anita

Marjie said...

It's so pretty in that mold that it doesn't matter too much what the ice cream tastes like, although I'm sure it's just divine.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Oh what a pretty blossom you've made! It's cold here but I would love to take to that beauty with a spoon-I can imagine how divine it would taste and smell!

Barbara said...

Wow, Deana. That makes a fabulous presentation! The color...that adorable mold and I bet it tastes divine. Love those two flavors.

mandy said...

This is fabulous - what a creative, delicious, gorgeous idea Deana! Thank you so much for including my lavender!
xo Mandy

Karina A. Fogliani-Ahmed said...

Hi Deanna. The link for the mold seems to have gone down. Where did you get your mold?

Deana Sidney said...

Thanks Karina, I fixed the link for the modern silicone version that I did not use. I got the old pewter one that I used on ebay. They range from $12 to well over $100 depending on the subject. The roses are usually fairly inexpensive since they were popular.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Blueberry and lavender ice cream?? I'm in lust ...
The flower is so pretty and elegant. I appreciate your advice about un-molding. Last Christmas, I had my 5 year old niece make cranberry sauce that went in a wonderful new mold, but I overheated it when I tried to un-mold it and it went to mush. I just served it in the mold, and she didn't know the difference because she was so proud of contributing to the meal!

Ken Albala said...

OK, this one is just too magnificent for words. Absolutely inspired. I planted a few bushes this season but they're all eaten. I guess I can still buy some.

Carole said...

Hi there, just popped over to let you know that your link to Food on Friday: Breakfast was featured in my Need Some Inspiration? Series today. Hope you are having a good week.

Evelyne CulturEatz said...

Must add this recipe on my to do ice creams, big fan of the fruit and flower! And the presentation is too adorable.