Curious Ingredient: Lavender & Lavender Ice-Cream

An ex-colleague of mine favorite tale from the kitchen is about that Christmas when she baked the turkey after she flavouring it with lavender rather than thyme, having mistaken the two plants when picking herbs in her parents' garden.

For some reason, she was using thyme to flavour the Xmas turkey. Whatever is our take on her culinary skills, what stuck in my mind on hearing the story, was that lavender might be better bought than picked for fear of mistakes.
Therefore when I contemplated making Lavender Frozen Yogurt, I had no intention to try my luck in the neighbour's flower pot and called upon a firm which specialize in flowers: Uncle Roy a firm operating from Moffat in Scotland  which was formed in 2003 in response to Roy Anderton-Tyers dislike of English Mustard. Since its beginnings, the company seems to have made a name for itself as a provider of good quality flavouring oils, condiments, sauces and other weird and wonderful things such as edible flowers. Edible Lavender Florets cost £2.75 from the site and there is a list of retailers.

However if you felt brave enough to pick your own. I have since been pointed out in the direction of a very comprehensive post: Which lavender can I use to cook with? by Vanessa Kimbell, with pictures, bliss.

I never tasted lavender in food before, despite spending part of my childhood in Provence. I would describe it as "there is nothing like it" & if  the ingredient was an unknown quantity it would be impossible, at least, for me to name it". Or in short as my friend Anne said when trying out the lavender frozen yogurt: "this is bloody delicious, WOOOW".

Lavender Frozen Yogurt

Makes 1L
200g caster sugar
200ml water
2 Tbsp lavender buds
300ml Greek yogurt
300ml creme fraiche or sour cream
Juice of 2 limes

Combine the sugar, water and lavender buds in a small, heavy bottomed saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.

Reduce the heat and simmer the syrup for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. When the syrup is cool, strain and discard the lavender

Combine the Greek yogurt and creme fraiche in a large bowl. Whisk in the lavender syrup and lime juice. Chill the mixture for 1 hour, then churn in an ice-cream maker, according to the manufacturer's, cover the surface directly with greaseproof paper or foil and put in the freezer.

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