Spring is drawing to a close, but our celebration continues as we try to utilize all that is available to us here in Minnesota to create new flavors on a weekly basis. This week we’re celebrating a flower that is probably recognizable to everyone that lives in Minnesota. It’s the peony! They are at the end of their bloom right now, and not only are they gorgeous, they’re extremely fragrant. We are going to try to extract the peony fragrance and put it in our ice cream, along with another little buddy, Greek yogurt, to enhance the experience. Let’s get started with this week’s flavor – Yogurt Peony.
To start with, I wanted to create an added richness to the texture of this week’s flavor, but I also wanted to see how the sour attributes of a cultured yogurt would pair with the floral tones of the peony. To do this, I added Greek yogurt to our organic cane sugar ice cream base. Here we have a peony in full bloom with a bud in the upper left that is about to bloom. Not to gross anyone out, but peonies are extremely sweet smelling, and for that very reason ants cover their dense flower buds, eat the nectar that they produce, and this allows the peony to open up and bloom.Don’t worry, there are no ants in the ice cream. I repeat, there are no ants in the ice cream.
Next, we want to try to extract as much of that sweet peony fragrance into our cream. The flower petals are removed, soaked in water, washed again, and spun dry in a salad spinner. We add the petals to our yogurt base, cook and steep, in hopes that we will achieve full floral flavor. The petals are strained out; the base is cooled. Ice cream goes through many changes in flavor over the course of its raw existence to being made and sitting in the freezer for a week or two. After cooking, steeping and cooling, the floral tones were barely hitting my palate on the back end of the finish.
Right after the ice cream was churned I got a nice yogurt flavor with a distinct floral finish that tasted just as the peony smells. After packaging and sitting in the freezer for a few days, the floral tones have again diminished. But, that is not the end…ice cream is a peculiar thing – it’s flavor will continue to change and develop over time. It is now up to fate to see where this one ends up.
Yogurt Peony – A rich taste of Spring and Summer. Want to know how this week’s flavor has aged?… 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 6/20/14 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!