Today’s recipe comes from the lovely Beth Manos Brickey of the blog Tasty Yummies! Read on for a mouth-watering and refreshing summer recipe that can be used to make ice cream or popsicles!
WAIT….before you pass by this recipe without a second glance, because you don’t have an ice cream maker, know that this ice cream can easily be made into delicious homemade Blueberry Lavender Vanilla Pops using one of those handy dandy popsicle molds that you can grab for a few dollars almost anywhere! Instead of adding the chilled mixture to an ice cream maker, just pour it into a popsicle mold and freeze until they are solid.
OK, now we can talk about all of the deliciousness of this ice cream! Beside being a gorgeous shade of violetey, purple – this ice cream is so refreshing and full of flavor. If the idea of eating lavender doesn’t appeal to you because of it’s floral scent, I really recommend trying to give it a shot anyway. I promise you’ll be quite surprised at how wonderful it really is. Everyone who has tried this ice cream has loved it. The subtle flavor that the lavender brings is so beautiful, delicate and perfect with the fresh tartness from the blueberries. The strong vanilla undertones smoothly rounds it all out so nicely, bringing it together into a creamy, dreamy dessert that is perfect on a hot summer evening.
1 quart fresh blueberries
1/2 cup maple syrup (honey or agave)
1 cup water
2 1/2 cups full fat organic coconut milk (about 1 1/2 cans)
2 tablespoons dried culinary lavender blossoms
1 vanilla bean (or an additional 1-2 tablespoons of vanilla extract at the end)
1 cup unsweetened organic vanilla almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large sauce pan over medium-heat, add blueberries, maple syrup and 1 cup water, bring to the start of a boil then drop the heat down and allow it to simmer for about 5-8 minutes. Continue simmering until the berries begin to pop and break open, remove from the heat and using a fine strainer, pour the mixture into the strainer, over a bowl, catching the berries. Then add the syrup back to the saucepan and add the blueberries to the pitcher of your blender and set aside.
Add the coconut milk and lavender to the pan with the blueberry syrup. Slice open the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the pan, then go ahead and toss the whole bean in, too. Over a medium-high heat, allow to mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes, then remove from the pan from the heat, cover and allow the lavender and vanilla to infuse for about 15 minutes or longer.
Using the fine strainer, strain the liquid into the blender with the blueberries, gently pressing down onto the lavender and the vanilla bean to get all of the flavor. Add the extra vanilla and the almond milk and blend until very smooth.
Pour the mixture into a large glass bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, or overnight. I usually just leave it overnight.
Once chilled, pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s directions. Eat right away as a soft-serve or add to a freezable container and place in the freezer for at least 8 hours or longer, to firm up. Freeze until it is firm enough to scoop.
* or you can pour the chilled mixture into popsicle molds, insert sticks and freeze.
TIPS: Try freezing your ice cream in a loaf pan, covered in wax paper and foil. Really press that wax paper down and every time you serve some, repress the wax paper down. This will help to keep it from getting freezer burnt. You can also add a tablespoon or two of vodka to the mixture, which doesn’t affect the taste but will help keep it from getting too hard. I didn’t do it this time around since I didn’t have any vodka in the house, but I usually do.