After last’s week reprieve, summer’s heat is in full force, buzzing the 100 degree mark for many of us. What are the best ways to cool off in the garden? How about herb-infused, homemade ice cream! After all, we all scream for ice cream, and herbs enthrall us with their captivating scents, crying out to be included in everything we do, from sachets to bouquets to all things gourmet. Sneak their refreshing flavor into ice cream and bring a layer of intrigue to the chilling treat. I’m especially tickled in preparing this recipe, for its ingredients echo the great provisions of God for his people. “Flowing with milk and honey” is the heart of the dessert, with honey in place of sugar, a remembrance of God’s imparted hope to the Israelites as they left Egypt for the land promised to their ancestors.
So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey
Still deeply curious about hyssop (see Beginning a God’s Word Garden), I added its clustered flowers to steep in the ice cream’s half & half preparation, whispering the washing clean we have in our Lord.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7
O gardeners, forget the heat and meditate on all that is sweet, as you prepare this delicious treat!
Hyssop Flower & Honey Ice Cream
Inspired by Alice Waters “Vanilla Bean Ice Cream,” Chez Panisse Fruit, pages 93 & 301 *Requires Ice Cream Maker* 6 egg yolks 1 cup half & half 6 – 8 hyssop flower clusters 1 vanilla bean pinch salt 2 cups heavy cream ¾ cup honey Place egg yolks into medium mixing bowl and whisk briefly to break them up. Meanwhile in a saucepan over low heat, warm half and half, hyssop flowers, salt and vanilla bean (split the bean lengthwise, scrape tiny seeds into mixture, and add pod as well). Turn off heat and steep flavored ingredients for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scalding. Discard flower clusters and bean pod (squeeze liquid out of flowers to see how spongy they are, John 19:29). Slowly pour half & half into egg yolk bowl while whisking constantly to temper and blend. Then return mixture to saucepan and low heat. Meanwhile, add heavy cream to mixing bowl. Stir yolk and half & half mixture constantly as it cooks, scraping bottom of pan with heat-resistant spatula. Continue a few minutes until mixture thickens and will coat the spatula. Working quickly, remove heated mixture from stovetop and pour through a strainer into the bowl of heavy cream (strainer removes left over blossoms and tiny cooked egg particles). Next, add honey and whisk together until liquid is creamy and smooth. Cover bowl and place in refrigerator to cool and chill. Pour ice cream mixture into ice cream maker and follow manufacturer directions to stir and freeze. Because honey does not freeze, ice cream will have a velvety, milk-shake-like consistency and melt easily. Transfer to storage container and freeze overnight for additional time to set up. Be prepared for a “soft-serve;” best served in bowls, indoors. Makes 1 quart
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:103
Lead Photo Caption: ©Shelley S. Cramm Hyssop flowers lend a layer of intrigue to honey ice cream. Lower Photo Caption: ©Shelley S. Cramm Ingredients assembled for a hyssop flower-infusion to “milk and honey” ice cream.