Lavender Ice Cream

Easy Lavender Ice Cream recipe

I make Lavender Ice Cream using my standard ice cream recipe. It has a wonderful floral creaminess which is perfect eaten in the garden on a sunny English summer day!

Lavender is a strong taste and needs to be used in moderation to avoid echoes of furniture polish!  Don’t be tempted to increase the amount in this recipe.  What you are looking for is a subtle whisper of lavender rather than a full-on bombardment of your taste-buds.    As it is such a strong flavour,  I would serve this Lavender Ice Cream on its own or possibly together with plain vanilla ice cream or maybe Lemon Shortbread biscuits.

You only need the egg yolks for this recipe which means you will have spare egg whites.  As I hate waste, I pretty much always make some form of meringue, when I make ice cream and, very conveniently, my meringue recipe requires four egg whites.  If you feel in the mood for meringue, you could check out my basic Meringue  or Pavlova recipes, or if you want something slightly different, you could try my Rose Meringue recipe.

Edible flower recipes – lavender, rose and elderflower

As is probably obvious from the title of this blog, I love using floral flavourings in my cooking. Lavender-lovers might like the recipes for Lavender Cake and Lavender Shortbread and Honey Cream Tea with Lavender Scones.

For rose-lovers, there are some great easy baking recipes including Rose and Strawberry Cream Cake and Almond Shortbread with Rosewater. For dessert, you could try Rose and Raspberry Pavlova or Rose Meringues. I also have a fantastic easy recipe for delicious floral Rose Petal Jam and an easy-peasy recipe for Crystallised Rose Petals.

For elderflower-lovers, there are recipes for Elderflower Ice CreamGooseberry and Elderflower Sorbet and Elderflower and Lemon Cupcakes. I also have a recipe for a classic Elderflower Cordial and also really easy recipes for Elderflower Gin and a lovely floral-flavoured Elderflower Vinegar.

Other home-made ice cream recipes

I am a great home-made ice cream enthusiast. I make it in the summer, of course, but am happy to eat it in winter too! There are some brilliant, shop-bought ice creams available but it is so easy to make your own. I like to experiment with flavours and some of my other ice cream recipes are listed below.

Loved this recipe? Checkout the Recipe Index.

Easy recipe for Lavender Ice Cream

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Lavender Ice Cream

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: for 6 people 1x
  • Category: Ice-cream
  • Cuisine: English

Description

Rich and creamy, this Lavender Ice Cream is a great way of using the wonderful, floral taste of lavender.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 85 g caster sugar
  • 425 ml double cream
  • 3 fresh lavender flowers broken down into petals (or 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh lavender leaves)
Lavender Ice-cream, lavender ice cream recipe, lavender ice cream
Cream and lavender

Instructions

  1. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a bowl until the mixture looks paler and resembles a mousse.
  2. Put the cream and lavender flowers or leaves in a saucepan and heat gently. Do not allow to boil – it will be the right temperature when you are just about able to bear to dip a finger in it!
  3. Remove the saucepan containing the cream and lavender from the heat.  At this stage you can strain the cream to remove all the lavender.  I generally don’t strain the lavender out as I like the little blue petals distributed through the ice cream but I know some people prefer a totally smoothe ice cream with just the flavour and no petals!
  4. Pour the infused cream into the bowl containing the egg yolks and sugar, whisking all the time.
  5. Transfer the combined mixture into a bowl set over a pan of simmering water or, ideally a double-boiler, as you need to reheat it very gently.
  6. The mixture will gradually thicken until it looks like a custard (which is what it is).  Stir regularly to make sure it does not stick while it is thickening.
  7. Remove the thick custard from the heat and transfer into a bowl.  Allow to cool to room temperature and then transfer to the fridge to become thoroughly chilled.
  8. When you are ready to make the ice-cream, transfer to your ice-cream maker and use according to your machine’s instructions.  If you do not have an ice-cream maker, you can place the mixture in a freezer-proof container, put in the freezer for several hours until half-frozen.  Whisk the mixture and then return to the container and replace in the freezer until totally frozen.

Notes

Make sure that you only use fresh lavender that you are sure has not been sprayed with chemicals.  The best place to source it is from your garden – it is very easy to grow!

If you do not have access to fresh lavender, you can use 2 teaspoons of dried culinary lavender.  The flavour is strengthened by the drying process, so the amount is less than that for fresh lavender.

Keywords: lavender, ice-cream, lavender ice-cream, lavender ice cream, recipe

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Lavender Shortbread

Easy home-made Lavender Shortbread

This quick and easy Lavender Shortbread recipe is the perfect place to start if you have never tried using this delicious floral flavour in your cooking. The shortbread is buttery and delicious with a subtle lavender flavour. It is very simple to make and takes under half an hour from start to finish.

Plain shortbread is  delicious – it should have a fairly soft, crumbly texture –   but it also makes great vehicle to showcase a range of flavours,  including lavender, rose geranium, thyme, rosemary and lemon verbena.   It is a great accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee and is also a good partner with ice-cream or sorbet.

I love lavender!  I grow several varieties in my garden and look forward to the first hot day of the year when you get a waft of lavender scent on the air and know that summer is truly here.   Lavender Shortbread is an excellent way of capturing the essence of this beautiful, fragrant plant.

Loved this recipe? Check out the Recipe Index

What you need to know about making Lavender Shortbread

  • This is a really easy recipe which makes it perfect for those who are not experienced bakers. It is also a great recipe if you want to cook with younger children or for older children to cook by themselves.
  • It is also a very quick recipe – from bowl to table in under half an hour. This makes it great if you need to produce something yummy and home-baked and are short of time.
  • In this recipe, I flavoured my shortbread with my shortbread with fresh, finely chopped lavender leaves from a plant in my garden. It is the leaves, rather than the flowers, that have the strong lavender flavour. If you are using fresh lavender you must be sure that it has not been treated with any chemical pesticides or herbicides.
  • If you do not have access to fresh lavender, you can buy dried culinary lavender in many supermarkets. However, you must make sure that it is labelled for culinary use.
  • Lavender has a strong flavour! Don’t be tempted to use too much. If you use the amounts specified in this recipe, you will get a subtly flavoured shortbread.
  • The addition of a small amount of ground almonds makes a real difference to this recipe. It makes the shortbread crumbly but moist and also goes really well with the lavender flavour.
  • I always use butter in this recipe as I prefer the flavour. However, if you are a vegan or wish to avoid dairy products, you can use a non-dairy substitute instead of the butter.

Using lavender in cooking

Lavender has many culinary uses and its fragrance works well in a variety of sweet and savoury dishes.   However, you do have to be a bit careful though as lavender is a very strongly scented plant and, if you use too much, it can overwhelm other flavours.  For this reason, I think it is best used on its own rather than in combination with other aromatics.

The history of culinary lavender

The English word lavender is thought to be derived either from Old French lavandre which is taken from the Latin lavare “to wash” which refers to the practice of using it in infusions or from the Latin livere “blueish” in reference to its colour.   Lavender (“nard” in Hebrew) is mentioned in the Song of Solomon. 

It was introduced into England in the 1600s.  At that time, it was used to make herb tea which was appreciated for its taste and for its medicinal properties.   It was also used to make a conserve which was prized by members of the aristocracy including, allegedly, Queen Elizabeth 1.    Although lavender is often now associated with southern French cuisine, it was not widely used until the turn of the 20th century and its use was popularised only later  by its inclusion in the 1970s in herbes de Provence, a blend of herbs invented by spice wholesalers.

Other lavender recipes

If you like this Lavender Shortbread you might like to try my rich and creamy Lavender Ice Cream, which is very easy to make, or my simple Lavender Loaf Cake.

Other easy shortbread and biscuit recipes

Baking shortbread or biscuits (cookies) is a really good place to start for inexperienced bakers. They are generally very easy and do not take very long to bake. If you like this recipe, you might also like my Almond Shortbread with Rosewater or simple Lemon Biscuits (Cookies). I also have a great Cheese Biscuit recipe, which you can make with or without chilli, if you want a savoury snack.

Loved this recipe? Check out the Recipe Index

Lavender Shortbread recipe

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Lavender Shortbread

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 15 biscuits 1x
  • Category: Biscuits
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English

Description

These crumbly shortbread biscuits, delicately flavoured with lavender, are fantastic as an accompaniment to ice-cream or sorbet – or just with a cup of tea!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 125 g (4 oz) butter 
  • 55 g (2 oz) caster sugar
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) plain flour
  • 20 g (1 oz) cornflour
  • 60 g (2 oz) ground almonds
  • 4 teaspoons fresh, finely chopped lavender leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried culinary lavender)

Instructions

  1. Set your oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas Mark 6.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together.
  3. Add the flour, cornflour and ground almonds and combine.
  4. Detach the small lavender flowers from their stalks and add them to the mixture.
  5. Roll out the shortbread dough to a thickness of approximately 0.5 cm (or a quarter of an inch).
  6. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes from the dough.
  7. Put the dough shapes onto a greased baking tray.
  8. Bake the shortbread dough shapes for 15 minutes.  They will be done when they are firm to the touch and light golden in colour.
  9. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.

Notes

If you are using fresh lavender leaves, make sure that they have not been treated with any chemicals.  Do not use shop-bought lavender unless it is specifically designated as “culinary lavender”.

Keywords: lavender, shortbread, lavender shortbread, lavender biscuits, lavender hearts, lavender cookies

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Thyme Ice-cream with Honey and Mascarpone

Thyme Ice-cream with Honey and Mascarpone

My Thyme Ice-cream, flavoured with honey and mascarpone, is rich and sweet.  Although many of the ingredients that I use are local to where I now live in south-west England – fresh thyme from my garden, honey from the man down the road who keeps bees – the flavours take me back to many happy summers in Italy.

I think my Thyme Ice-cream makes an excellent dessert after a summer meal – cooling and  creamy  but with a herby twist!  The taste of thyme is quite subtle in this recipe and is balanced by the other flavours, so this a good introduction to herb ice-cream for those who may be a little unsure about it.   If I am serving this at a dinner party,  I will usually serve it paired with another ice-cream with a less unusual flavour and let people choose which one they want!

I love herb-flavoured ice-creams.  I think the cream or custard base provides the perfect vehicle for many herbs and allows their flavours to sing out.  Herbs are the stars of the show and not just a supporting act!    Many herbs, which may be considered mainly of use in savoury dishes, make excellent ice-cream.   In addition to thyme, I think basil, bay, sorrel all make excellent ice-creams.  There are also, of course, other herbs such as lavender and lemon verbena, which are used in many sweet dishes and make fantastic flavourings for ice-cream.

Easy Thyme Ice Cream with Honey and Mascarpone

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Thyme Ice Cream with Honey and Mascarpone

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: for 6 people 1x
  • Category: Ice-cream
  • Cuisine: English

Description

Try a sweet twist on thyme with this creamy Thyme Ice Cream with Honey and Mascarpone.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) double cream
  • A large bunch of fresh thyme
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100 ml (3.5 fl oz) honey
  • 250 g (9 oz) mascarpone

Instructions

  1. Wash your thyme and crush it gently using the back of a spoon to release its flavour.  There is no need to remove the leaves from the woody stalks.
  2. Put the thyme into a saucepan with the cream.  At this stage, if you have time (as well as thyme..) you can leave the mixture overnight to allow the flavour to infuse.
  3. Next, heat the cream and thyme mixture gently. Do not allow to boil – it will be the right temperature when you are just about able to bear to dip a finger in it!
  4. Strain the cream through a sieve to remove the thyme.
  5. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl until the mixture looks paler and resembles a mousse.
  6. Pour the thyme-flavoured cream into the bowl containing the egg yolks.
  7. Transfer the combined mixture into a bowl set over a pan of simmering water or, ideally a double-boiler, as you need to reheat it very gently.
  8. The mixture will gradually thicken until it looks like a custard (which is what it is).  Stir regularly to make sure it does not stick while it is thickening.
  9. Add the honey to the custard.
  10. Remove the thick custard from the heat and transfer into a bowl.  Allow to cool to room temperature and then transfer to the fridge to become thoroughly chilled.
  11. Add the mascarpone to the chilled custard.
  12. When you are ready to make the ice-cream, transfer to your ice-cream maker and use according to your machine’s instructions.  If you do not have an ice-cream maker, you can place the mixture in a freezer-proof container, put in the freezer for several hours until half-frozen.  Whisk the mixture and then return to the container and replace in the freezer until totally frozen.

Notes

There are many varieties of thyme and any are fine in this ice-cream.  I used lemon thyme as I particularly love its flavour.

Keywords: thyme, ice-cream, honey, mascarpone

Other thyme recipes

Thyme is one of my favourite herbs. I like to make Thyme Biscuits with Pinenuts which are fantastic with my Thyme Ice Cream but are also great on their own. I also make a simple Thyme Loaf Cake which allows the flavour of this lovely herb to take centre stage. Thyme is also a really good flavouring in savoury recipes such as Shallot Tart with Thyme.

Other home-made ice cream recipes

I am a great home-made ice cream enthusiast. I make it in the summer, of course, but am happy to eat it in winter too! There are some brilliant, shop-bought ice creams available but it is so easy to make your own. I like to experiment with flavours and some of my other ice cream recipes are listed below.

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Elderflower Cordial

Picked elderflowers

Home-made Elderflower Cordial recipe

Although there are a number of brands of ready-made Elderflower Cordial available now, it is is really easy to make your own.    I think home-made Elderflower Cordial is best as it has a zesty lemony taste which ready-made versions don’t seem to have.  Also, it is cheaper as the main ingredient is free!

elderflowers

How to find your elderflowers

Elderflowers are a good starting point for new “foragers” as they are so widely available and easily recognisable.   They are the blossoms of the elder (Sambucus nigra) which is a small tree or shrub commonly found in woodlands and gardens throughout the UK.   

The time to make this cordial is in late spring or early summer when the elderflowers are in bloom. When you start to look for them, you will see them everywhere in hedges in May and June. The elderflower heads consist of hundreds of small creamy-white flowers and have a distinctive elderflower aroma.

Elderflowers are best picked on a sunny day as the flavour will be stronger. Choose elderflower heads where the flowers are fully open but which have not yet started to turn brown. As with all foraged food, you need to make sure that the flowers that you are gathering have not been treated with any chemicals.

There are two views regarding preparation of elderflowers for use in cordial, gin or vinegar. The first is that you should not wash the elderflowers as this will impact the flavour and you should just shake the flowers and pick through them to remove any insects. The second is that the blooms need to be washed to remove the bugs, and any dirt, regardless of any reduction in flavour. I tend towards the “no-wash” view as I think the flavour is better but the choice is yours!

elderflower cordial
Some ideas for novice foragers

I am a fairly recent convert to the joys of foraging and tend to stick to things that are pretty easily identifiable such as elderflowers. My first foray into foraging involved blackberries (everyone knows what blackberries look like!) and resulted in Blackberry Ice Cream, Blackberry Gin and some yummy Blackberry Muffins. Some of my other favourite foraged recipes include Nettle Soup and a tart which combines onions with Wild Garlic. All made with ingredients which are pretty easy to identify. Definitely steering clear of foraged mushrooms for the time being!

Easy home-made Elderflower Cordial recipe

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elderflower cordial

Elderflower Cordial

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1.5 litres 1x
  • Category: Cordial
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This luscious home-made elderflower cordial is so easy to make and can be used in soft drinks, as a cooking ingredient or to bring a floral note to cocktails.


Ingredients

Scale
  • About 20 elderflower heads
  • 3 unwaxed lemons
  • 1 kg sugar

Instructions

  1. Either shake the eldereflowers and pick through them to remove any insects or wash the elderflower heads to remove any insects.
  2. Then place them in a large bowl together with the grated zest of the lemons.   (Reserve the lemons as you will need to use their juice later.)
  3. Pour 1.5 litres of boiling water over the elderflowers and lemon zest.   Cover and leave to infuse overnight.
  4. The next day, strain the liquid through a sieve lined with muslin or kitchen paper, into a large saucepan.
  5. Add the sugar and the juice of the lemons to the infused liquid and heat gently to dissolve the sugar.   Once the sugar is dissolved, simmer more rapidly for around 5  minutes until the liquid has thickened slightly.
  6. Transfer the cordial into sterilised bottles or jars. (There are various ways of sterilising bottles and jars.  I think the easiest is to wash in soapy water and then put in an oven at 120 C for 15 minutes).
  7. Once bottled, the cordial will keep for several weeks in the fridge.

Notes

Although the preparation time is only 15 minutes, you do need to leave the mixture to infuse overnight (see step 3).

Keywords: elderflower cordial

Loved this recipe? Checkout the Recipe Index.

elderflower cordial
Other Elderflower Recipes

I am a big fan of elderflower and love its distinctive floral flavour. I have lots of recipes, some using fresh elderflowers and some which can be made with shop-bought elderflower cordial.

elderflower cordial

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Rose Ice Cream

Home-made Rose Ice Cream

I first came across Rose Ice Cream about ten years ago on a family holiday to Alnwick Castle Garden in Northumberland. The castle is famous for its wonderful, dramatic modern garden which includes a large area devoted to scented roses. When we visited, they were selling rose-flavoured ice-cream with a flavour based on the old-fashioned roses in the garden. I loved the ice-cream and, as soon as I got home, set about trying to make a home-made version. If you love gardens, I would recommend a visit to those at Alnwick Castle which also include a cascade of 120 water-jets, an area devoted to poisonous plants and an extraordinary tree-house which is the location for a very fancy restaurant.

Maybe because I first had Rose Ice Cream in Alnwick, I associate it with an English summer garden. There are a few recipes for Rose Ice Cream which have a more exotic twist, including pistachios or almonds, and having a 1001 Nights vibe, but this is definitely a traditional English version.

You only need the egg yolks for this recipe which means you will have spare egg whites.  As I hate waste, I pretty much always make Meringues when I make ice-cream as, very conveniently, my Meringue recipe requires four egg whites. If you are in a rose-loving mood, you could make Rose Meringues!

Edible flower recipes – rose, lavender and elderflower

As is probably obvious from the title of this blog, I love using floral flavourings in my cooking. For rose-lovers, there are some great easy baking recipes including Rose and Strawberry Cream Cake and Almond Shortbread with Rosewater. For dessert, you could try Rose and Raspberry Pavlova or Rose Meringues. I also have a fantastic easy recipe for delicious floral Rose Petal Jam and an easy-peasy recipe for Crystallised Rose Petals.

Lavender-lovers might like the recipes for Lavender Ice Cream, Lavender Cake and Lavender Shortbread and Honey Cream Tea with Lavender Scones.

For elderflower-lovers, there are recipes for Elderflower Ice Cream, Gooseberry and Elderflower Sorbet and Elderflower and Lemon Cupcakes. I also have a recipe for a classic Elderflower Cordial and also really easy recipes for Elderflower Gin and a lovely floral-flavoured Elderflower Vinegar.

Easy homemade Rose Ice Cream recipe

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Rose Ice Cream

Rose Ice Cream

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 1x
  • Category: Ice Cream
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This Rose Ice Cream is a lovely summer recipe which combines the floral taste of rose with fresh cream.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 85 g caster sugar
  • 425 ml double cream
  • 1 tablespoon of culinary rosewater
  • A few drops of red food colouring (optional)


Instructions

  1. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a bowl until the mixture looks paler and resembles a mousse.
  2. Put the cream in a saucepan and heat gently. Do not allow to boil – it will be the right temperature when you are just about able to bear to dip a finger in it!
  3. Pour the cream into the bowl containing the egg yolks and sugar, whisking all the time.
  4. Transfer the combined mixture into a bowl set over a pan of simmering water or, ideally a double-boiler, as you need to reheat it very gently.
  5. The mixture will gradually thicken until it looks like a custard (which is what it is).  Stir regularly to make sure it does not stick while it is thickening.
  6. Remove the thick custard from the heat and transfer into a bowl. 
  7. Add the rosewater to the custard.  If you wish, stir in a few drops of red food colouring so that your ice cream will be pink.  If you don’t do this, your ice-cream will be cream-coloured but will still taste the same!
  8. Allow to cool to room temperature and then transfer to the fridge to become thoroughly chilled.
  9. When you are ready to make the ice-cream, transfer to your ice-cream maker and use according to your machine’s instructions.  If you do not have an ice-cream maker, you can place the mixture in a freezer-proof container, put in the freezer for several hours until half-frozen.  Whisk the mixture and then return to the container and replace in the freezer until totally frozen.

Notes

You only need the egg yolks for this recipe which means you will have spare egg whites.  As I hate waste, I pretty much always make Meringues when I make ice-cream as, very conveniently, my Meringue recipe requires four egg whites.

If you want to go for a full-on rose theme, you can decorate your ice-cream with Crystallised Rose Petals.

Keywords: rose, rose ice cream, rose recipe

Other home-made ice cream recipes

I am a great home-made ice cream enthusiast. I make it in the summer, of course, but am happy to eat it in winter too! There are some brilliant, shop-bought ice creams available but it is so easy to make your own. I like to experiment with flavours and some of my other ice cream recipes are listed below.

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