Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tasty Tuesday Fear-faire Lavender Custard

This sweet dessert is punctuated with a mild lavender bitterness.  Spells by Aprilynne Pike is much the same:  a delight to read about the faerie world and it's loveliness, with the bittersweet taste of impossible love. 
Both of my parents are chefs and a few months ago my dad told me about a recipe for rosemary ice cream that he is recreating for his restaurant.  In Aprilynne's book, Laurel has the ability to affect the taste of food by sensing the natural elements of a dish and adding plants to bring out those natural flavors.  Adding herbs to ice cream reminds me of the scene when Laurel attempts to enhance her father's leftovers. 
This recipe can be made with any herb-lavender, rosemary, basil, mint.  I chose lavender because that is one of the many herbs Laurel uses in the book. 
Herbed ice cream goes great with fruit pies(apple, yum!).  I drizzled a bit of maple syrup on the top to sweeten mine. 
"Fear" in Gaelic translates to grass, or nature and "faire" to watching.  Put together, the word means sentinel, just like the constant watchmen who keep Laurel safe.  I don't think this ice cream has life-saving qualities, but the addition of nature to your dessert just might brighten your day. 

Fear-Faire Lavender Custard

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup mild honey
1 tsp real vanilla
2 tablespoons dried edible lavender flowers(I used two stalks fresh leaves.  I bet it turns a pretty purple if you use the flowers)
4 egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt

Bring cream, half-and-half, honey, and lavender just to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, then remove pan from heat.  Add vanilla.  Let steep, covered, 30 minutes.
Pour cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard lavender. Return mixture to cleaned saucepan and heat over moderate heat until hot.

Whisk together eggs and salt in a large bowl, then add 1 cup hot cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking. Pour into remaining hot cream mixture in saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thick enough to coat back of spoon and registers 170 to 175°F on thermometer, about 5 minutes (do not let boil).

Cool completely, stirring occasionally. Chill, covered, until cold, at least 3 hours.

Freeze custard in an ice cream maker. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden.

Custard will last in the freezer for 1 week. 


  1. wow! that sounds really awesome! I need to invest in an ice-cream maker. I've got some great recipes to try!

  2. I have a large lavender plant that I've been wanting to use for some culinary purpose-- thanks for the inspiration!


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