Servings: Serves 12
Ingredients 2 1/2 cups milk2 1/2 cups heavy cream2 medium vanilla beans2 tablespoons orange zest (zest of 1 orange)6 sprigs whole fresh lavender6 large egg yolks1 cup superfine sugar1/2 cup orange juice
In a large saucepan combine milk and heavy cream. Split vanilla bean lengthwise. Using a small paring knife, scrap out seeds and then put seeds and pod into milk mixture. Add 5 teaspoons orange zest and 5 lavender sprigs to milk mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and allow flavors to steep for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, finely chop remaining lavender sprig and set aside with remaining teaspoon orange zest. In a medium stainless steel bowl, combine yolks and sugar, whisk for 2 to 3 minutes until it reaches a pale yellow color, and sugar is dissolved.
Reheat milk mixture until very hot but not boiling, and slowly pour about a third of it into eggs, whisking constantly. Then pour this mixture back into the saucepan with remaining milk. Over medium heat, stir constantly with a wooden spoon until thick and can coat the back of the spoon. Do not let it boil. Remove bean pods and strain mixture into a large bowl. Add remaining lavender, orange zest, and orange juice and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (Ice cream can also be made one to two days in advance.) Using an ice cream machine, process according to manufacturer's instructions. Serve when firm enough to scoop.