Thursday, March 4, 2010

CSA week 13 - Strawberry lavender ice cream

This ice cream was supposed to have a lot more flavor notes in it, as you can see from the list of ingredients, but at the end it was just the strawberries and four tiny drops of lavender extract that come through. Not that anyone was complaining, mind you. This is based on a more straightforward strawberry ice cream from Lebovitz's Perfect Scoop book.

1 pint strawberries
1 banana, frozen and defrosted
1/2 cup chopped mango
1/2 cup plus a bit more sugar
1 Tablespoon vodka
1/2 cup Possum Trot cas guava and passion fruit sauce [There was plenty leftover after the Potato Pandemonium dinner and Robert let us pack some up doggie bags. It was very nice with buckwheat crêpes, but I thought it freeze up well too so I threw it in. And the chopped mango that was floating in it too.]
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup cream
1 squeeze lemon
4 drops lavender extract
1 pinch of salt

I cleaned and sliced the strawberries and put them in a bowl with the banana, the sugar and the vodka and set it out on the counter for an hour to macerate. I blended the bowl of fruit with the rest of the ingredients in the food processor until the fruit was in little flecks but not completely pulped. I checked for sweetness and drizzled in a Tablespoon or two of agave nectar to bring it up to par.

Then I chilled it in the refrigerator overnight and churned. Unlike a lot of other ice creams I've made recently, this one just wouldn't harden up. After 20 minutes it was starting to overflow the churn and it had reached about a soft serve consistency (which is when you're supposed to be removing ice cream from the churn anyway) so I got it out then.

The texture is very soft and creamy right out of the freezer and a little lighter than usual from the extra air churned in. It's a remarkable texture from an ice cream without a custard or corn starch. There isn't enough banana in there to account for it, but I think the vodka and the fructose in the agave nectar help too. The ice cream melts away in the mouth pretty quickly, like a bargain over churned ice cream, but it coats the mouth the way premium ice creams do. Kind of an odd combination of sensations. The coating carries a lot of flavor so it's still there when you're chewing on the little bits of strawberry and mango.

Because there's only half the strawberries you'd find in a batch of proper strawberry ice cream this size, the flavor is balanced with the slightly tangy cream and the aromatic lavender. Luckily, unlike my last attempt, the light touch with the lavender leaves it floral, not chemical, and it enhances the berry flavor in a lovely way.

I'm pretty happy with how this turned out. Now I know you can't reproduce the recipe as written without access to leftover Possum Trot cas guava and passion fruit sauce, but a little more sour cream and a little more mango or guava should substitute in well enough, I think. It was a big hit around the office so, if you've got the strawberries and the ice cream churn, you really ought to consider giving it a try.


kat said...

I'm a big fan of lavender in food but never thought to put it in ice cream!

Marian said...

Yum, what a great use for the cas guava-passion fruit sauce. My stash is still in the freezer, waiting for pancakes.

billjac said...

I just wish the flavors of the sauce came out more in the final product. I'd definitely leave out the lavender and maybe use more mango instead of strawberry if I were going to do make ice cream with it again.