Lavender and Orange Ice Cream in Lemon Tartlettes

This exquisite dessert from Sophie Grigson is an enchanting combination of fragrant lavender and orange ice cream, presented in crisp lemon pastry cases
By Sophie Grigson
Lavender and Orange Ice Cream in Lemon Tartlettes
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: plus infusing and freezing
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

Lavender and orange ice cream

  • 15-25 spikes fresh lavender flowers, or 10-15 dried lavender heads
  • zest of 1 oranges, pared off in strips
  • 300 ml single cream, or milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 55 g caster sugar
  • 300 ml whipping or double cream
  • 6 sprigs lavender, to decorate

Lemon Tartlettes

  • 225 g plain flour
  • 75 g icing sugar
  • finely grated zest 1 lemons
  • pinch of salt
  • 110 g chilled unsalted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice

Strawberry coulis

  • 250g (90z) strawberries
  • juice of half a lemons
  • icing sugar, to taste

Method

1. First make the ice cream. Put the lavender flowers and orange zest in a saucepan with the single cream. Bring gently up to the boil, then draw off the heat, cover and leave to infuse for 45 minutes.

2. Whisk the eggs yolks with the sugar until pale and thick. Bring the cream back to the boil, then pour onto the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure that the base of the bowl does not come into contact with the water.

3. Stir until the custard thickens just enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Lift the bowl off the pan and leave to cool, then strain.

4. Whisk the whipping cream until it holds its shape lightly and floppily. Fold into the cold custard with the orange juice.

5. Pour into an ice cream maker and churn until frozen.

6. Alternately, turn the freezer to its coldest setting, pour the mixture into a shallow container, and freeze for 2 hours until beginning to set, mix to break up the large crystals, then return to the freezer. Repeat the process, then leave to freeze until the mixture is set but not rock hard. Scrape into a food processor and process to smooth out any crystals. Return to the freezer until firm.

7. Transfer the ice cream from the freezer to t he fridge for about 45 minutes to soften up before serving.

8. To make the pastry put all the pastry ingredients but only 1 tablespoon of lemon juice o to begin with in the processor.

9. Pulse process until you have a crumbly dough, adding more lemon juice if it seems over-dry. Tip out and gather together. Knead briefly to even out the texture, and then roll into a ball, wrap in cling film, and chill for 1 hour.

10. Divide the pastry into 6 pieces. Roll each one out between two sheets of greaseproof paper, then use to line a 9cm tartlette tin. Chill in the fridge for half an hour.

11.Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Prick the bases of each tartlette, line with baking parchment, then weight down with beans. Bake blind for 10 minutes, then remove beans and paper and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes, until cooked through, and lightly browned. Cool in their tins, then turn out.

12. To make the coulis blend the strawberries with the lemon juice and a couple of spoonfuls of icing sugar. Rub through a sieve and sweeten to taste with more icing sugar.

13. To serve, place either one large scoop of lavender ice cream or three smaller ones in each tartlette case. Spoon over a little coulis and decorate with a sprig of lavender.

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