Chamomile Ice Cream

“You worry too much”. That’s something I’m told now and then.

And it’s true. I worry about sinking islands, falling skies and reincarnated Osama Bin Ladins.

Okay, maybe that’s not entirely true. But I do worry a fair deal.

At my very first job, on the very first day, it was torture. I was worried mostly about, well, everything. It didn’t matter that the job was to wait on people. It mattered because I had to talk to strangers, something I never liked before.

Most of the time, I stood by the side, as stiff as a meringue whipped to its fullest.

As far as my memory can go, I vividly remember the nights I spent sleepwalking and talking.

There was the night that went…”would you like your side to be fries, mashed potatoes or baked potatoes?” and a “may I clear your glass for you?”.

And there was another night when I jumped right out of bed to fold napkins.

I was a waitress by day and by night.

Thank God for chamomile. It’s a flower that’s God-sent.

This gorgeous, sweet-smelling flower has been long used in Europe for various ailments. Insomnia, migraines, and you guessed it, anxiety.

While chamomile is gracious to provide us with such goodness, care must be taken in consuming it. Chamomile naturally contains coumarin that has anticoagulant or blood-thinning effects. It is also part of the Asteraceae plant family, which includes ragweed and chrysanthemum. Should you have allergies, you might want to take extra caution. It could arouse skin irritation and other allergic reactions. I’m just sayin’.

Whatever it is, chamomile ice cream is something intriguing enough for you to want to try. It has a nip of honeycomb and a shade of the cream-colored VW beetle. It’s especially splendid on a simple old-fashioned ice cream cone. But of course, you need more than words to believe what I say. Try it, it’s that delicious.

Chamomile Ice Cream

from Fig & Kindle

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2 cups heavy cream, divided

1 cup whole milk

2/3 cup sugar

3 heaping tablespoons of chamomile flowers

Pinch of salt

3 egg yolks

Combine the chamomile flowers and milk in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat the mixture until it begins to boil. Let boil for 30 seconds, remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes.

After steeping, run the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. It’s okay if there is some “pulp” in the mixture—as long as it is soft, it will blend right in with the ice cream and provide extra flavor.

Return the milk plus one cup of the cream to the stove on medium heat. Add the sugar and stir lightly until the sugar is dissolved. Let the mixture heat until simmering and remove from the heat.

Separate the egg yolks into a small bowl. Whisk quickly while using a ladle to stream a small amount of hot milk into the yolks. This step tempers the eggs– brings them up to temperature before being added to the hot mixture so you don’t have scrambled eggs in your ice cream.

Add the tempered egg yolks to the milk and sugar and stir over lowered heat. Cook until a custard forms. Test this by dipping a clean spoon into the liquid, drawing it out, and running a finger along the back of the spoon. If the mark left behind is held by the thickened liquid you have custard. If the line your finger draws collapses and flows together the mixture needs more time on the heat.

Once the custard has thickened (but not curdled), remove from the heat and and pour the hot liquid into a cool bowl along with the still chilled 1 cup of cream. Let cool in the fridge until thoroughly chilled—a few hours or overnight.

Freeze according to the instructions on your ice cream maker.


5 thoughts on “Chamomile Ice Cream

  1. Chamomile has always been my favourite herbal tea – I never thought to make it into an ice cream, what a wonderful idea 🙂

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