Lavender is quite possibly my favorite flower in the world. It is so fresh and sweet smelling, the very scent of it just makes all my troubles disappear. I know flowers tend to be an iffy food choice for a lot of people, but believe me, lavender is wonderful in food. We bought lots of dried lavender buds when we I went crazy buying a gazillion other herbs and spices from Atlantic Spice Co. I decided to make some custard that I could take to work to have a little 10 minutes of heaven during my workday One of the more recent times my husband and I went out to eat, we were served a lavender and vanilla bean creme brulee, and that was where I got the idea to try to make this.
This recipe was adapted from this Suite101 article on herbal desserts.
Ingredients (serves 3 small portions):
2 tbs. lavender buds, crushed and chopped
2 cups millk (I used 2%)
2 tbs. arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
2 tbs. water
1/4 cup honey (I use local raw honey, cause it’s so much better than storebought stuff)
5 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
1. Add lavender and milk to a pan. Bring to a simmer (just below medium worked well here), and stir every couple minutes for about half an hour. This gives time for the lavender to diffuse into the milk.*
2. Mix arrowroot powder and water together, then whisk into the milk.
3. Whisk in the honey
4. Lightly beat the egg yolks in a small bowl and then slowly pour into the custard mixture, whisking all the while. You don’t want the eggs to scramble, so if your heat is too high, you may need to turn it down here.
5. Bring to a simmer again, whisking constantly, for about 5 min. It will really start to thicken.
6. Remove from heat and add in your vanilla, and pour into ramekins (or sealable containers that are good for taking to work). Either cover with seran wrap or place lid on and set in fridge for a few hours (I made this at night so that I could take it with me the next morning).
7. To serve, remove cover, and eat.
*Note – the original recipe says to strain out the lavender buds. I left them in. When I had the creme brulee they were left in, and I loved it. If you don’t want quite so potent a flavor, or if you want a smoother consistency to your custard, then definitely strain them out.
I still cannot figure out how to not get air bubbles in the custard. I tap the bowl on the counter a few times before putting it in the fridge, and I still get bubbles, as you can see. Any tricks here???
Normally I am not a fan of taking pictures in such evening light. However, I love the look of the long shadows cast by the garnish of lavender buds here, it looks like they are floating above the custard because of it!