Easily my favorite flower, Lilacs mark the beginning of spring, or in the case of this year – summer. Once they are in bloom their smell is unmistakeable. In my opinion, it’s the best time of the year for many reasons, and lilacs are a pretty awesome part of it.
We’ve toyed with exploring floral flavors before, such as with our valentines day inspired flavor earlier this year – Rose with Cinnamon Honey. The idea of lilac ice cream has been percolating since last spring, but since their blooming season is so short we didn’t have enough time to get it done. With a whole year to prepare, (and big thanks to Erik’s neighbor for letting us steal from her tree) it was time to make it happen.
The first step to making this ice cream is to pick the little flowers from the lilac branch and make sure that there is no green stem left. Any green part at all adds a bitterness to the cream and taints the lilac flavor. Its a very laborious process because so many tiny flower buds have to be plucked perfectly to provide enough of the lilac flavor – but with some patience, and a good cup of coffee, its cathartic.
The cream base is made using our standard recipe with organic cane sugar. I toyed with the idea of using coconut milk or adding chevre, but in the end kept it clean to maximize the flavor of the lilac. The lilac flowers are steeped in the base to suck out every ounce of flavor we can get. After the steep, the flowers are strained out right before the churning process begins.
Finally, Lilac ice cream. It’s a light, delicately floral bite that tastes ever so subtly like that wonderful lilac fragrance, without being overpowering.
Want to try it? You can win one of the only two pints in the world, filled with this fabulous, scratch made craft ice cream in our weekly pint giveaway. Enter your name in the comments section here, or on our facebook page under the posted contest. 2 lucky winners will be drawn randomly on Friday 5/31/13 at 4pm. Winners must be able to pick up locally and give us feedback. Pints must be claimed by email within one week or we will redistribute. 🙂 Good luck!