Saturday, May 22, 2010

as sweet as tupelo honey

The fame of Tupelo honey didn’t necessarily happen with Van Morrison’s hit song back in 1971, where the songwriter declares “she’s as sweet as tupelo honey, just like honey from the bee”. Tupelo honey is famed on its own merit.

Tupelo honey is a uniquely delicious, top quality honey and is valued for its inability to granulate. It is one of the most expensive because it is the most expensive to produce. The honey comes from the tupelo gum tree that grows in flooded forest areas in Florida, Louisiana and Georgia. Care must be taken by the beekeepers to clean the combs at the right time so that when the white tupelo gum tree blossoms, only honey from these blossoms is collected. White tupelo honey is a prized sweet delicious light amber honey with a greenish hue. The delightful taste of pure white tupelo honey can be savored on hot buttered toast or for something a little out of the ordinary, incorporate it into a warm crème anglaise that has been infused with dried lavender to make lavender and honey ice cream.

This is a creamy unexpected treat that couldn’t be simpler or more delicious.


Lavender and Honey Ice Cream
makes 3 cups

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways
½ cup tupelo honey
¼ cup dried lavender
6 egg yolks

Pour the cream and milk into a heavy bottomed pan and place over low heat. Scrape the vanilla seeds from the pod and add them to the creamy milk with the empty pod, along with the honey. Slowly, stirring to incorporate the honey, bring the mixture just below the boil. Remove from heat and stir in the dried lavender. Set aside to infuse for about 15 minutes.

In the meantime, beat the egg yolks with a whisk until the mixture becomes thick and pale yellow. Gently reheat the creamy milk mixture and pour on to the egg yolks, stirring with a whisk as you do so.

Strain through a fine mesh sieve back into the saucepan, removing the lavender. Place over the lowest possible heat. Stir gently and patiently until the custard thickens-this may take 10-15 minutes (don’t be tempted to increase the heat, or you’ll end up with scrambled eggs). It should be thick enough to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon. Draw a finger along the back of the spoon-it should leave a clear trace.

Pour custard into a covered container and let chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Shannon,

    I met you at Sur La Table in Irvine Spectrum a few weeks ago waiting for the ice-cream demo. You were telling me about your blog (which I LOVE..the pictures look so professional and really entice me to make some of these dishes you've created). I searched around for the salted caramel ice-cream you were telling me about but didn't find it. I was hoping to make it for my husband this weekend for Father's Day. Would you please let me know where I can find the recipe?

    Thanks Much,