This is a crowd favorite! It’s featured with updated, luscious photos in our Gilded Fork Cookbook!
Sometimes the most pleasurable things in life are also the simplest. Sorbet may seem like a daunting dessert for the home cook, but after tasting this alluring sorbet, we guarantee you will be making many more homemade ice creams and sorbets in the comfort of your own kitchen. Lavender and honey add a delectable, earthy sweetness to this smooth and aromatic sorbet. A perfect transition from Spring to Summer, this is a light and refreshing indulgence for those of us who crave a creamy alternative to fat-laden ice creams.
2 cups whole milk
2 cups water
1 cup honey
¼ vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
1 tablespoon dried lavender buds, slightly crushed
A pinch of salt
Candied lavender (available at your local baking supply store)
Fresh mint leaves
Fine mesh sieve or a chinois
Ice cream machine
Combine the milk, water, honey, vanilla pod and seeds in a medium saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the honey. Once it comes to a boil, whisk in the lavender and salt then remove the pan from heat and cool to room temperature. Infuse the mixture for 30 minutes at room temperature. Strain through a fine sieve and chill in the refrigerator until it is very cold, at least 3 hours. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions.
[Chef’s Note: Bringing the mixture to a boil will ensure that all of the honey granules are dissolved into the liquid, resulting in a smoother and creamier sorbet.
Another option for those without an ice cream machine is to turn this sorbet into an icy granita. To make a granita, transfer the chilled mixture to a large, shallow pan and place in the freezer, rather than processing in the ice cream machine. When you see ice crystals beginning to form around the edges of the pan, stir the granita using a fork, scraping it off the bottom and sides of the pan to ensure an even consistency when freezing; continue to stir and scrape, breaking up the ice crystals, every thirty minutes until it is completely frozen, about 3 hours. Stirring is a crucial step in making granita, as the goal with granita is to create coarse granular crystals of ice to achieve the perfect grainy texture. When ready to serve, spoon the granita into chilled glasses and garnish as you would the sorbet.]
To serve, scoop the sorbet into chilled dessert bowls and garnish with 3 or 4 Candied lavender and/or a sprig of mint.
Recipe by Monica Glass
Photo by Andrea Meyers