As a new gardener, picking fresh produce from your vegetable garden to use in your favorite lunch and dinner recipes is a novelty that will never cease to be exciting. However, with some searching and a little creativity, you will find that there are countless gardening tips on how to use your plants in new and fun ways. During the summertime, there is nothing sweeter than ice cream.
Start by making your own strawberry jam…
Fresh strawberries are one of the season’s best flavors, and you can highlight them all year long with Ina Garten’s recipe for fresh strawberry jam – you’ll just need 1 ½ pints of fresh strawberries from your garden, 2 cups of sugar and the zest and juice of one large lemon. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and lemon and cook over very low heat for 10 minutes until it forms one dissolved liquid. Add the strawberries and cook for an additional 20 minutes until the mixture begins to boil slightly. When a spot check of juice forms a gel on a very cold plate, the jam is done. Pour it carefully into two pint-size canning jars and store them in the refrigerator.
… for strawberry lavender ice cream
Now you’re ready for step two! For Better Home and Gardens’ delicious strawberry lavender ice cream recipe, here’s what you’ll need:
1 1/2 cups of milk
1 1/2 cups of whipping cream
1 cup homemade strawberry jam
30 sprigs fresh lavender
3 egg yolks
2/3 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Over medium heat, stir cream, milk and sugar until the mixture starts to simmer and the sugar is completely dissolved – make sure it doesn’t start to boil. Measure out one cup of the mixture, whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl, and gradually incorporate the two together. Return the milk to the saucepan and cook for six to eight minutes until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the vanilla and place the pot into a large bowl of ice water. Stir it for two minutes to allow it to cool slightly. Sprinkle the sprigs of lavender into the mixture, pour into a storage container (covered) and allow it to chill overnight.
The next day, strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve and return to the freezer for two hours in a two-quart ice cream freezer. Swirl in your strawberry jam, transfer the ice cream to an airtight storage container and allow it to freeze for at least four more hours before serving.