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Helen Mirren's lavender locks

We adore Helen Mirren for her acting chops, but today it’s her lavender locks that have us buzzing. Reminiscent of our Grandmothers’ tightly coiffed ‘do’s’ in hue only, some would say Mirren’s pastel pixie crop is a breath of Fresh Hair!

While we admire Mirren’s bravado, we’re not quite sure we’ll ever be ready to try this look. Instead, we’ll settle for this Hollywood inspired lavender honey ice cream … as made by that other fabulous Grande Dame, Meryl Streep, for Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin in It’s Complicated.

Honey Lavender Ice Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 2/3 cup mild hone
  • 2 tablespoons dried edible lavender flowers
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 drops each red and blue food colouring (optional)

Special equipment: a candy or instant-read thermometer; an ice cream maker.

Bring cream, half-and-half, honey, and lavender just to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, then remove pan from heat. Let steep, covered, 30 minutes.

Pour cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard lavender. Return mixture to cleaned saucepan and heat over moderate heat until hot.

Whisk together eggs and salt in a large bowl, then add 1 cup hot cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking. Pour into remaining hot cream mixture in saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thick enough to coat back of spoon and registers 170 to 175°F on thermometer, about 5 minutes (do not let boil).

Pour custard through sieve into cleaned bowl and cool completely, stirring occasionally. Chill, covered, until cold, at least 3 hours.

Freeze custard in ice cream maker. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden.

Cooks’ notes:

  • To cool custard quickly after straining, set bowl in a larger bowl of ice and cold water and stir until chilled.
  • Custard can chill up to 1 day before freezing.
  • Ice cream keeps 1 week.

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