Chamomile Fennel Pollen w/ Meyer Lemon Gin Honey

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and in preparation, I wanted to make an ice cream inspired by a boozy beverage. Because, what better way to celebrate the love of your life than with booze. Trying to find a little inspiration via the interwebs, I found myself looking at a lot of vodka martinis with either strawberries, raspberries or cherries. You know, because it’s valentine’s day, and I guess that’s what everybody wants…every year…the same thing…every year. And I was almost buying into it, until I ran across a beverage created by Lara Creasy of Junction Kitchen and Bar in Atlanta, GA. She created a gin martini paired with a chamomile infused vermouth, a touch of lemon and honey, and finished with a pinch of fennel pollen. By no means does this sound like something that “everybody” wants, but everything about this beverage screams ice cream…and trust me, this is going to be good…really good. Which brings me to this week’s Valentine’s Day boozy beverage inspired flavor – Chamomile Fennel Pollen with Gin Lemon Honey. Let’s get started.




Chamomile Leaves/budsFennel Pollen ready for ice cream

Sweet Vermouth






In the original beverage, Creasy used a house made chamomile-infused vermouth, but for the ice cream, I am making my own house made concoction –  ice cream infused with chamomile tea and fennel pollen. Chamomile has a mild sweet floral aroma, which comes from the daisy-like flowers it is made from. The floral tones of the tea pair extremely well with the delicate sweet mellow anise flavors of the fennel pollen. The two of them are steeped in our ice cream base, along with a splash of sweet vermouth during the cooking process. The tea and pollen are strained out with a fine mesh strainer. The infused ice cream base is cooled and churned.




Honey B - MinneapolisMeyer LemonGin





For the gin meyer lemon honey, we are using Honey B, a Minneapolis local honey from Northeast Minneapolis. Our friend Britt is working on getting her hive going again after losing much of it last year. This is a good start. The honey is brought to a simmer with a small amount of meyer lemon juice, and then finished with a splash of gin. The honey has a nice tang with a tich of bitterness from the juniper in the gin. It is layered into the ice cream during packaging.



Chamomile Fennel Pollen with Gin Meyer Lemon Honey



The final result is a Valentine’s dream…floral chamomile and sweet fennel pollen, paired with a tangy meyer lemon gin honey. It’s fresh and new and not the same as last year, or the year before, or the year before that. You get it. HVD! Love, FrozBroz

Like to try some? You can be one of two lucky winners of 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. Two winners will be drawn randomly on Friday 2/14/14 at 4pm. Winners must be able to pick up locally. Prizes must be claimed by email within one week or we will redistribute. 🙂 Good luck!




Basil with Meyer Lemon Curd

In all of the chaos of kicking off our IndieGoGo fundraiser this week,  we arrive at our favorite day.  Or as it has become over the last year – flavor day.

And as luck would have it, the flavor I chose for the week of the kickoff proved to be a bit of a challenge.




We had been wanting to use Meyer lemons in a flavor since they are in season and a facebook flavor-storming session with our good friend Molly McNeil (of Minnesota Peach fame) pushed it into the spotlig



I envisioned this flavor to be a green hued, deeply flavored sweet basil ice cream with ribbons of meyer lemon curd glowing through each scoop. Unfortunately I realized after my first incarnation that we weren’t quite ready to cross into pesto cream sauce with lemon ice territory, which was exactly where we ended up after the first round.


Sometimes these flavors take on a personality during development, almost like they are a living, breathing thing.  I’ve  caught myself almost talking to a flavor idea, demanding that it cooperate or tell me what would make it happy.  After some smooth talking, I finally found the right path, which included a few adjustments to find harmony.




First, the lemon curd.




Lemon curd is a great cake filling or baking ingredient, but thrown into ice cream in its basic form results in a hard, icy texture that doesn’t translate well.  So to fix, the curd was baked in the oven to caramelize the sugars and reduce out the water content.  The result is exactly the filling you get with a lemon bar, translucent with the melding of the sugar, butter, and eggs.  It incorporates into the ice cream beautifully.

For the ice cream, I initially steeped the cream in basil and threw in minced basil to finish. The result was an overwhelming sour basil flavor, which if actually treated like pesto might be good, but without the balance of a walnut or pine nut was too much on its own.  I’m not going to say Pesto is not workable because in all honesty its danced around our flavor list for awhile.  But for now, it would wait.

The right decision was keeping the basil out of the ice cream until right at the end, where it was minced and added to provide an accent flavor to the Meyer Lemon (which is truly the star of the show) and leave the clean cream flavor some room to breathe.




The final product.




Want to try some for yourself?

As we do every week, we’ll be giving away two pints of this flavor. Just leave a comment on our facebook page to be entered into the drawing. If you don’t have a facebook account, leave a comment right here on the blog. We’ll draw two winners on Friday afternoon (3/9/2012) at 4pm and will announce them on our facebook page (or email you if you’re comment resides here). Our only conditions are you must be able to pick it up here in Minneapolis, and be willing to give us a little feedback that can be shared with everyone else. Good luck!