Roasted Peaches And Lavender Ice Cream With Lemon Salt Shortbread Cookies
The first days of the Summer here in the South always bring back memories of my youth spent in Provence and Les Grandes Vacances (Summer vacations) spent in the Alps. The scent of lavender, rosemary, thyme. Juicy cut cantaloupe and proscuito salad. Fresh sardines and trouts over a makeshift barbecue pit dug in the earth. Scrumptious fingerling potatoes cooked in the ashes afterwards. That smoky taste was unbelievable.
Summers then and Summer now, wherever I find myself, are synonymous with the same scents and flavors. Lots and lots of peaches, cherries, apricots, plums, ice creams, sorbets, fresh and juicy pies. Days were filled with bike rides, hikes, swimming in the river, building tree house and fortresses. No toys necessary. Just friends.
The anticipation of going back to the same summer vacation spot and see who was coming that year again. Even today, I have my brother to tell me who is still stopping by. Yes, thirty something years after their first falls and sometimes first kisses, now that children have become parents of their own, they find themselves continuing the traditions. It’s good. It’s actually awesome.
The beauty of being in the present is that I can look up from my work table, cut open a peach and be transported right where I need to be. The look, feel and smell are all I need to create the photo story that calms or inspires me. I am easy. If anything, this past year has taught me to be in the moment. To let it unravel what I need to see.
I did not want to let the season pass by without making some time for peaches and ice cream. And why not combining both if I could…
Stone fruits always make me reach for a complimentary fragrance. Lavender, rosemary, thyme, cumin. Grilled peaches and a few cumin seeds are just incredible together. It changes with my mood but as a Provencal, I think my instinct is to reach for the jar of lavender buds. It almost makes me hear the cicadas in the background. Almost… That and a glass of rose and well, I am just about set!
This ice cream is really the best of all worlds right now. Juicy peaches, lavender, plenty of creamy goodness. I served it with easy lemon zested shortbread cookies topped with a little sprinkle of lemon salt I brought back from Portland last year. The contrast was perfect. A nice balance of flavors, sweet, salty and creamy.
Roasted Peach and Lavender Ice Cream With Lemon Salt Shortbread Cookies:
I went for white peaches for no other reason that they were the most ripe ones at the market one morning and I did not want to wait any longer to make ice cream. Use any stone fruit you like best. Do not worry if you can remove the pits before you put them in the oven, both skins and pits will yield under your fingers once the fruits are roasted. Cook, peel, mash and throw in with the ice cream base which is nothing more complicated than milk and cream and a little sugar or honey.
Best is to prepare the fruit and ice cream base the day before you plan on churning it.
For the ice cream:
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon dried edible lavender buds
1 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 cup whole coconut milk
1/3 cup honey
For the shortbread cookies (makes about twenty 2-inch round cookies)
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
2 egg yolks
1 cup millet flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup milk (optional)
Lemon salt (optional)(or make your own by added lemon zest to coarse sea salt)
Prepare the ice cream:
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits.
Place in large roasting pan, cut side up. Drizzle with the honey and lavender. Roast until golden brown and soft, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely and peel the skins off the peaches (you can roast them the day before if you want). Reserve.
In a large saucepan set over medium heat, cook together the cream, milk coconut milk and honey until they barely come to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Refrigerate until cold.
When both fruit and ice cream based are chilled sufficiently, mash the peaches with a potato masher or a fork (no need to puree fine), add them to the base and process the ice cream according to your ice cream maker manufacturer’s instruction.
Freeze until set.
Prepare the cookies:
In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the butter, sugar and egg yolks together on medium speed until creamy looking. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds with the back of a knife and add to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix for 10 seconds. Add the millet and sweet rice flour with the mixer still on low speed. If the mixture feels too crumbly add a little bit of milk to obtain a smooth but not too wet dough. Start with one tablespoon at a time.
Gather the dough into a bowl and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
When ready to bake, turn the oven to 350F and position a rack in the middle.
Roll the dough in between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll to about 1/4 to 1/8-inch thick. Cut cookies out in the dough and place them on a parchment lined baing sheet. Sprinkle with lemon salt.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden.
Serve with the ice cream.
Ilan @ IronWhisk.com June 25, 2012 um 10:17 pm
That looks really amazing.
I wish I had unlimited supply to lavender..
Lynna June 26, 2012 um 12:47 am
Looks so beautiful to eat! 🙂 Gorgeous photos! I really love your placement of everything.
Riley June 26, 2012 um 2:38 am
Wow, all of this looks wonderful! I wish I could get my hand on one of those cookies.
Helene June 26, 2012 um 3:42 am
This looks so delicious, I will be making it this summer for sure! French expat too here, ah, la nostalgie des grandes vacances! 🙂
london bakes June 26, 2012 um 8:29 am
I am currently counting down the days to my own summer vacances in Provence. I seriously can't wait and this post has just made me even more excited!
Anonymous June 26, 2012 um 12:32 pm
Yum! I like any dessert with lavender in it 🙂
The Savory and The Beautiful June 26, 2012 um 12:52 pm
This looks amazing!
Rachel [email protected] June 26, 2012 um 1:12 pm
you have out done yourself with this…so gorgeous. Those peaches just jump off the screen and are so luscious. I love shortbread and am thrilled to see a GF version. Thanks!
blackberriesandbloodoranges June 26, 2012 um 1:44 pm
This ice cream looks so good! I have been having a love affair with any ripe stone fruit and recently roasted some peaches too. The cookies also look wonderful–and so simple! I have been looking for a good, gluten free shortbread–thank you!
Anonymous June 26, 2012 um 3:35 pm
Amazing! I can't wait until we get some ripe peaches around here.
Nanasniftynitch June 26, 2012 um 3:40 pm
Oh Thank you so much!!!
My lavender is just now blooming. I'm going to have a real big harvest and I'm so excited to have another use. lol I love the smell the taste everything about it.
Katie @ Blonde Ambition June 26, 2012 um 4:47 pm
I studied in Lyon for a year, and looking through your photos of the Hautes-Alpes and Provence made me "homesick"! Outside of the town which became my home, Provence was my favorite place to visit. Your photos capture its beauty in a way my own never could! Thank you for invoking some nostalgia 🙂
Bree June 26, 2012 um 5:12 pm
thea June 26, 2012 um 9:24 pm
gorgeous images and such lovely memories…xo
Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) June 26, 2012 um 9:56 pm
I love the softness of the images and how wonderfully refreshing the ice cream sounds. Great idea to garnish with the shortbread pieces!
Gourmet forever June 27, 2012 um 10:58 am
I will try that for sure!
Jackie @Syrup and Biscuits June 27, 2012 um 12:12 pm
I am obsessed with lavender. It has become my all time favorite scent. I stand in my garden just to soak in the fragrance. Of course, the idea of lavender ice cream appeals to me. Thank you!
A Canadian Foodie June 27, 2012 um 2:52 pm
I just visited the most beautiful Lavender farm in the Okanagan Valley and came home with their lavender oil to replicate the incredible ice cream I tasted there. And have just got the photos up ready to write, when this popped in my mail box… all yesterday. I was so excited about the ice cream that cookies, or fruit, didn't cross my mind. The ice cream is DEADLY delicious. I am addicted – but, mine doesn't have a lavender hue… just eggy yellow fatty floral goodness. LOVE your scoop. Is it vintage? I hope you will share your source.
Anonymous June 27, 2012 um 10:09 pm
Thanks for a recipe that uses lavender! I really look forward to making it. I had already bought some lavender on purpose for making different types of desserts. I liked your macaron treatise, which helped me finally be able to make some decent shells. And I love your photography book, which I bought a couple of months ago and read. Now I have to tinker with my camera to apply what I read. 🙂
Rosario, from El Salvador
Jaime June 28, 2012 um 5:36 am
Oh this sounds beautiful! I have a pot of lavender sugar I haven't used much of – do you reckon it's possible to make a simple syrup from it to substitute a bit of the honey? If yes, how much would you recommend substituting? Thanks so much Helene!!
Unknown June 28, 2012 um 6:35 am
The ice cream looks great.
Helene June 28, 2012 um 12:48 pm
Jaime: equal amounts since they are both invert sugars.
nina June 29, 2012 um 2:51 am
Gorgeous Photographs Helene. This is wonderful….i love peaches and this looks lovely:)
Javelin Warrior June 29, 2012 um 4:32 am
What a gorgeous and refreshing treat! I'm featuring this in today's Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and I always love dropping by to see what you've created…
Helene June 29, 2012 um 1:52 pm
Randi" Actually, it would have been better to ask permission to copy/paste and repost my picture. Thanks!
Liz July 1, 2012 um 10:55 am
Just whipped up a batch of this peach ice cream and can't wait til this evening to try it out. I leapt from this post to your ginger ice cream which I made too. I note that you have a good many ice cream recipes that ditch the eggs and use a very simple base. I can't think why so many recipes need x number of egg yolks when your base here works a treat with just milk and cream. I am always worried about raw egg especially when serving older people, kids etc. I can't wait for you to post some more intriguing ice cream combos! Here's to summer big time – I am in the Med, and all I dream of eating is ices now it's in the late '30s! Thanks for your amazing recipes Helene!
Dessert Photoblog July 2, 2012 um 6:19 pm
Your ice cream looks amazing…much better than what I normally have from the store. I did make some peach ice cream this weekend but it did not look anything like yours. Thanks for sharing.
A Canadian Foodie July 5, 2012 um 12:58 pm
Just checking back for the scoop source. I have seen you use it on other posts and love it… have been searching and can find nothing like it. Does it have a name or source on it somewhere? 🙂 Valerie
Helene July 5, 2012 um 2:14 pm
A Canadian Foodie: the scoop was a random find on etsy.com
My Love Wedding Ring July 15, 2012 um 10:36 pm
Mmmmmm, my mouth is watering just reading this – looking forward now to making and tasting!! Thank you for such beautiful inspiration…
Eileen October 5, 2012 um 7:25 am
Rachel February 22, 2013 um 6:24 pm
I was wondering how many servings your ice cream recipe makes? I need enough for about 15 people.
Helene February 23, 2013 um 2:27 am
Rachel: I would make 2 to 3 batches to serves 15 people depending on how hungry they are and how much of a sweet tooth they have.