It’s only been two weeks since I last posted an ice cream recipe, but I just can’t help myself! The days are becoming ever so slightly longer now and the sun is setting later, and my rising anticipation for warm weather and its treats (read: fresh blueberries and cold dessert) made me decide to snatch a few boxes of out-of-season berries at the grocery store. Though they’re no juicy summer blueberries from the farmer’s market, they did just fine to meet my craving for a warm weather treat – smothered in ice cream too, of course.
An ice cream machine is one of those gadgets that you don’t think you need, and then when you have homemade ice cream for the first time and realize how easy and delicious it is, there’s just no turning back! My machine was on sale for quite an affordable price compared to other gadgets, and it’s made for many fun desserts with family circled around, watching the cream churn slowly in anticipation. I’m someone who loves to experiment with unique flavor combinations in the kitchen, so being able to customize ice cream with any flavor I choose and cater to my every ice-cream-whim is a recipe (literally) for making all ice cream flavor dreams come true.
So onto the topic at hand: this Crushed Lavender Ice Cream with Blueberries. Lavender and I have a thing. Lavender body wash, lavender essential oil in the diffuser, the color lavender, just give me all the lavender. And that hasn’t stopped on the threshold of my kitchen. Maybe it’s a phase that I’ll grow out of, but for now, my intrigue and love for its floral punch is going nowhere. After getting totally hooked on lavender chamomile tea (you should try it, it’s so fragrant and lovely and just yum… especially with some almond milk and honey!) I decided to try adding dried lavender to granola and then pie and then the rest is history.
Of course, dried lavender can be strong, so use sparingly if you decide to experiment with it in baked goods and other treats. This ice cream recipe uses 2 teaspoons, but add less if you’d rather have a fainter, soft floral note.
At long last, here is the recipe! Because this doesn’t have a custard base, there are no eggs to heat up in a custard and then cool down, making for a very quick ice cream. Enjoy!
CRUSHED LAVENDER ICE CREAM WITH BLUEBERRIES
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups blueberries
- 2 teaspoons dried lavender, crushed with a mortar and pestle into a fine powder
Whisk together the cream, milk, honey, lavender, and vanilla, mixing until the honey is mostly dissolved (I personally don’t mind a few ribbons of it in the ice cream!). In a separate bowl, crush 1 cup of the blueberries until all the juices have been squeezed out and accumulated in the bottom of the bowl. Transfer the crushed blueberries and blueberry juice into a mesh strainer over the bowl of cream, pressing out all the juice to add the softest and prettiest violet color along with a little extra blueberry flavor to the ice cream mixture. Discard the leftover blueberry skins.
Pour into an ice cream maker (this is the one I use), adding the remaining 1 cup blueberries slowly as the cream is churned. Churn for about 20 minutes, or until the ice cream has a soft serve consistency. Spoon into a freezer safe container, allowing to chill for about an hour or so before serving to help the ice cream firm up a bit.
Serve in your prettiest dishes, maybe even with a few extra blueberries thrown on top.
Antique silver dish by Elsie Green
This past year I’ve been diving into making homemade pasta, and have been especially enjoying homemade ravioli! It does take extra time and effort in comparison to store bought ravioli, but the ability to customize the filling with whatever flavors and ingredients suit your fancy gives you endless possibilities! This recipe featured a ricotta-based filling, brightened with a hint of lemon.
Because the filling is rich, I chose to only dress the ravioli with a glug of extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper with bits of sausage and crispy sage leaves scattered on top for added flavor. Oh, and I couldn’t forgo a good handful of shaved parmigiano reggiano!
If you are generally pressed for time come dinner, I suggest making the ravioli the night before or on some Saturday afternoon free of plans, spreading it out with some flour on a baking sheet, popping it in the freezer for 20 minutes, then transferring them to a big ziplock bag! They’ll be tucked away in the freezer, ready to cook at a moment’s notice, and can be kept this way for a week. I like to make a double portion when I make ravioli, cooking half and freezing half in this way for another night.
LEMONY RICOTTA RAVIOLI WITH SAUSAGE AND FRIED SAGE
Makes two dinner portions or four small servings
For the pasta dough:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3 eggs
For the ravioli filling:
- 2 cups part skim ricotta
- 1/3 cup finely grated parmigiano reggiano
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Zest of one lemon
To toss with the ravioli:
- 1 lb ground Italian sausage
- 1 bunch sage
- Shaved parmigiano reggiano
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- A few lemon slices to garnish as well, if you’d like!
Prepare the pasta dough:
Measure the flour and pour into a bowl, then make a well in the middle for the eggs. Add the eggs, then use a fork to gently whisk them. Once whisked, gradually introduce flour to the whisked eggs with the fork while stirring. Once enough flour has been combined, set the fork aside, and knead until the dough comes together in a uniform ball. If the dough is dry, you may add 1/2 tablespoon of water at a time, until the dough is no longer dry but not yet sticky (if it’s sticky, you can add a bit more flour). Alternatively, use a food processor to combine the eggs and flour, adding the eggs one at a time, pulsing the machine until it forms into a ball. Knead the pasta dough on a floured surface for a few minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and rest the dough for 15 minutes or up to an hour.
After the dough has rested, divide the dough into four pieces. Using a pasta machine, feed a piece at a time through the roller set at the widest position, dusting generously with flour to help the dough not stick. Roll the dough thinner and thinner by adjusting the rollers to the next narrow setting each time. Keep going until the pasta is quite thin, to where you can just see your hand through it. Repeat with the rest of the dough, then place each sheet side by side on parchment paper.
Assemble the ravioli:
Mix all ingredients of the ravioli filling together in a mixing bowl. On each pasta sheet, place about a half tablespoon amount of filling an inch apart in a row, leaving enough space on the top half of the pasta sheet to fold over on top of the filling. Wetting your finger or a small pastry brush with some water, wet the edges of the pasta around each dollop of ricotta filling. Fold over the top half of the pasta sheet, pressing the air out near each spoonful of filling, and firmly pressing the two pieces of dough together so that it adheres. Cut the ravioli apart and set aside (I like using a pizza cutter).
Cook the pasta and prepare the toppings:
Fill a large pot with water, adding salt, and place over high heat so that it reaches a rolling boil.
While heating the water, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, adding the sage leaves once hot. Fry the sage until crispy, then set aside. In the same pan, cook the ground sausage, breaking up into small pieces.
When the water has reached a rolling boil, carefully add the ravioli, stirring so that none of the pasta sticks to the bottom of the pot. Boil until they rise to the top, giving them another minute or so once they’ve risen, then drain the water.
Spoon the pasta onto a serving dish, then cover with sausage, the fried sage leaves, a good amount of shaved parmigiano reggiano, and salt and pepper to taste. This is great served with a light salad and a warm baguette. Buon appetito!
I’ve cracked the granola code! Meaning, after a couple years of tweaking my homemade granola recipe, I’ve found the one. I’ve experimented with different oils, different nuts, different baking temperatures and time spent in the oven, different sweeteners, and different ratios. Some of them were decent, some were not so good (too heavy on the salt or too light on sweeteners), but this one… this one is my holy grail granola.
I’m excited to share this recipe with you as I think it really is somethin’ special, as far as granola goes. Oh, and I apologize for the long title, which is probably the longest granola recipe title there is – it just really is so tasty with all of those ingredients! Of course, you can adjust it to your liking, adding or taking out different nuts and seeds and dried fruit, depending on your taste or just what’s currently in your pantry. However, I do recommend the extra step of heating the olive oil, sweeteners, vanilla, and almond butter together in a little saucepan on the stove, whisking a bit until combined and fragrant, as this keeps those ingredients from becoming clumped and too concentrated in certain bites of granola.
I like mine sprinkled (in actuality, spooned into a heaping pile) atop some tangy yogurt for breakfast, or eaten plain as a little crunchy afternoon snack.
OLIVE OIL GRANOLA WITH COCONUT FLAKES, APRICOTS, DATES, NUTS, AND SEEDS
Makes 10 cups of granola
- 5 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup unsulfured dried apricots, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup pitted deglet noor dates, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
- 1/2 cup unsalted almonds
- 1/2 cup unsalted cashews
- 1/4 cup unsalted pistachios
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup pepitas/pumpin seeds
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 1/4 cup unsalted almond butter (or other nut butter)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (not needed if the nuts or almond butter is salted)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine oats, apricots, dates, coconut flakes, nuts, and seeds. Set aside.
In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the olive oil, maple syrup, honey, almond butter, and vanilla. Whisk until combined, warm and fragrant, and pour into the bowl of dry ingredients. Toss together with a spoon, adding the salt only if needed, until combined.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, then spoon half of the granola onto each pan, spreading evenly. Pop the granola into the warm oven and bake for 20 minutes, then after stirring each pan a bit, bake for another 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool completely without stirring, as this will allow the granola to keep in clumps, if you like your granola that way. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, and it will keep for a week – that is, if it’s not already eaten by then!
For my birthday this year, my sweet mom and siblings gifted me an ice cream maker. I have plans to put it to good use as the temperature begins to rise over the next several months and my cravings for something cold and sweet rise along with it. Though it’s only February and still chilly here in California, I decided some ice cream churned with berries and chocolate was in order after sunny skies left me yearning for summer.
This recipe is fairly unfussy for an ice cream recipe, as it doesn’t call for tempering an egg yolk custard or chilling overnight. Simply throw everything into a bowl, crushing the berries a bit, and add hefty chunks of chocolate as it churns. Sweetened only by a few spoonfuls of raw honey along with the raspberries, it’s not overwhelming in any way, and dark chocolate adds both crunch and richness.
I hope you enjoy this scrumptious treat! I won’t blame you if you steal a few spoonfuls as it churns.
HONEY RASPBERRY ICE CREAM WITH CHOCOLATE CHUNKS
Makes 1 1/2 quart
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups milk (I used 2 percent)
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1/4 cup raw honey (you may add a spoonful or two more if your raspberries are more tart than sweet)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Dark chocolate, chopped roughly into chunks (or chocolate chips), amounting to about 1/2 cup – you can add more or less to your liking.
Whisk together the heavy cream, milk, honey, and vanilla in a bowl until the honey has dissolved. Add the raspberries, slightly mashing them against the bottom of the bowl while you whisk them in, mixing until the cream mixture has turned slightly pink.
Pour into an ice cream maker, adding the chocolate slowly as the cream is churned. Churn for about 20 minutes, or until the ice cream has a soft serve consistency. Spoon into a freezer safe container, allowing to chill for about an hour or so before serving to help the ice cream firm up a bit.