Where I live in Central Jersey, honey doesn’t get any more close-to-home (nor more raw, pure, and natural) than that of Bamboo Hollow. Jars are labeled “Princeton,” “Hillsborough,” or “Hopewell.” The outfit’s “New Jersey” honey is only slightly less localized: it combines honey from hives in Somerset, Mercer, and Hunterdon counties.
I will use my ultra-local honey this weekend to make honey lavender ice cream, a recipe courtesy of Corey Heyer, executive chef of the Bernards Inn. Earlier this week Heyer presented a terrific Garden State seafood dinner at the James Beard House, and for dessert served the ice cream over individual warm peach tartes Tatin that made the most of this year’s exceptional Jersey peach crop.
When I tackle the ice cream recipe this weekend, I’ll wind up with the most local ice cream I’ve ever made. I’ll use Bamboo Hollow Princeton honey, lavender from my own garden, eggs from Lima Family Farms in Hillsborough, and milk from Halo Farm (a Trenton dairy that sources from small and local dairies). I bet you could do the same for where you live.
HONEY LAVENDER ICE CREAM
Corey Heyer, The Bernards Inn
2 cups whole milk
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup honey (preferably local and/or preferably wild flower)
2 sprigs fresh lavender
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
In a saucepan, bring milk, heavy cream, honey, and lavender up to a boil. In a mixing bowl combine the egg yolks, sugar, and salt and whisk to combine. While whisking the egg yolks, slowly add some of the hot cream in a steady stream. When all the cream has been incorporated, return the mix back to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and cool completely. Follow the manufacturer’s direction of your ice cream machine and spin the ice cream.
Makes 1 quart.