Foodiva's Kitchen: Peach and Violet Ice Cream

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Peach and Violet Ice Cream

“Deep violets, you liken to The kindest eyes that look on you, Without a thought disloyal.”
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Flowers in food, have you ever given it a second thought? In the East, flowers are more commonly used in cuisine than in the West. This harks back to the olden days when food was scarce, so enterprising housewives started experimenting by adding blossoms in their cooking. I'm quite sure there were several tragedies along the way, just so that we are able to enjoy eating the flowers we know to be safe today.

Over here, you will find Thai and Chinese food are often the ones infused with a variety of flowers. The dishes range from sweet to savory, but flowers are found in beverages and herbal remedies too. A few of the most used flowers off the top of my head are chrysanthemum, jasmine, cherry blossoms, peonies, chamomile, ginger flower, osmanthus, hibiscus, rose and many others. Growing up on predominantly spicy (but flower-less) Malay cuisine, I've had to slowly get used to tasting flowery flavors in my food. Now, however, it's an acquired taste I couldn't possibly live without and I make sure there's always some dried edible flowers in my pantry for hmm... cravings and experimentation.



Today's ice cream recipe uses a different form of the flower very often used in French cuisine - the violet. I would love to have used fresh violets in this instance if I could only get hold of them. But necessity is the mother of invention (was it Plato who said this?) and in the absence of fresh violets, I used violet candy. A friend who had recently returned from Paris dropped off a bag oLadurée goodies (thanks, M!) and amongst them were these amazingly floral violet candy. They were naturally fragranced and colored, and were even shaped as little violet flowers...how truly adorable is that?



According to Brigitte Mars, a professional American herbalist, the essence of violet flower "helps those that feel lonely, increases openness and helps shy, aloof people that want to share but feel overwhelmed". Not my reason for making this ice cream, of course, but isn't it helpful to know for the next time you feel ridiculously unloved and alone? Just go and get yourself a bunch of violets!

You can spot the chunks of fresh peaches and violet candy in there.

It didn't take me long to figure out that the juicy, hint of mango-ey peaches would go very well with the sweet, aromatic violet. I also had to somehow finish that bowl of soft, white peaches that seemed to be ripening on the counter quicker than I could say "boo". I got Diva D to help me smash the candy into chunks and slice up the peaches (my nick around here is the Great Delegator). We made a custard cream out of blended peaches and introduced peach chunks into the ice cream via a peach-violet compote. Oh, and because I really like my crunchies, the crushed up violet candy were sprinkled into the semi-frozen concoction just before it went into the ice cream container.



This is such a delightful marriage of ingredients, and you don't have to wait for generous friends to go shopping in Ladurée on your behalf to be able to make this. If you can get hold of fresh violets, by all means use them and just add sugar or sweetener to the custard. Otherwise, I read about such a thing as violet sugar, but if like me you can't make your own at home, you can probably buy it online at sites like this one (a word of warning, it costs a bomb!).

Finally, one of my favorite singers is Jill Scott, I just love her voice to bits! And her relaxed style in this video puts Alpha-me to shame, it really does...


Peach and Violet Ice Cream
Ingredients:
Peach-Violet Custard
4-5 small white peaches
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 cup heavy cream, chilled

Peach-Violet Compote
2 small white peaches, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons crushed violet candy (or violet sugar, if you can get this)
1 tablespoon water


Extra Violet Candy
1/3 cup violet candy, crushed (or violet sugar)

Method:
1. To make the Peach Custard, slice peaches and remove seeds. Sprinkle with sugar on top of slices and roast or broil peaches for about 10 minutes until soft.
2. Process roasted peaches with 1/2 cup milk and salt in a blender until smooth. Strain, pour into a pan and bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly.
3. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, stir the remaining 2 tablespoons milk and cornstarch until well combined. Add the cornstarch slurry to the hot milk and return saucepan to heat. As soon as the mixture starts to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to a custard-like consistency. Leave to cool down to room temperature.
4. Whisk chilled cream for a few minutes, then add to the custard and stir until well combined. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours in the refrigerator or 45 minutes in the freezer. Note: Custard can be chilled, covered, in refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
5. Make the Peach-Violet compote by bringing all the ingredients to a bowl on medium heat. Crush the sliced peaches slightly with a fork and leave the compote to cool completely.
6. In the meantime, crush extra violet candy into small chunks using a rolling pin or mortar and pestle. Set aside.
7. Pour the chilled custard into the ice-cream maker and freeze according to the instructions of your ice-cream machine. When the ice cream is nearly frozen (about 15-20 minutes), add the peach-violet compote and crushed violet candy into the bowl of the ice cream maker and churn for about 30 seconds to distribute the fruit and candy through the ice cream. Transfer to a container and freeze until ready to serve. Remove from freezer and let stand for 10 minutes until softened before serving.

55 comments:

Alina---Explora Cuisine said...

I love this post and recipe, the attention you pay to small details is incredible Maya! I totally love your flavor combinations, you always amaze me :)

Foodness Gracious said...

Once again another amazing combo of flavors. Great job as always!
Thanks and have a great weekend!

Foodiva said...

Alina, if you meant the details in my writing, it's probably because I digress a lot! LOL. If it's the details in my recipes, well, I like different textures and flavors and the sensations they all induce when I eat the food. So yes, I spend a little bit more time on those aspects. Otherwise, everything here may just be a telling indication of how complex I am as a person...ack! ;-)

Foodiva said...

Foodness Gracious, I was just thinking of popping over to your site when your comment came on! Freaky telepathy...LOL. Thanks so much for stopping by ;-).

Frolicking Night Owl said...

You definitely come up with some creative ice cream flavors!! :)

Foodness Gracious said...

OOooooo, weird...but please pop over, the door is always open :)

Foodiva said...

Becky@FNO, thanks. There's nothing quite like a bit of fruit and flower in your ice cream on a blisteringly hot day!

Foodiva said...

@Foodness Gracious....already been!

Elle Audrey Marie said...

That is so cool.. and editable flower ring! I love the exotic flavors, it's quite hot today, been feeling like going for some ice cream as well, but not homemade, I'm too lazy today.

Venie said...

ur food blog always make me drool....

Three-Cookies said...

The 'Ladurée ice cream' sounds interesting, probably the first time I am seeing voilet infused in ice cream.

yummychunklet said...

This sound completely yummy. And I love how pretty it looks!

Foodiva said...

Elle Marie and Venie, thanks very much!

Foodiva said...

Three Cookies, well it's probably the first time violet candy has been infused in ice cream, for sure! ;-)

Foodiva said...

Yummychunklet, so glad the flavors have tempted you!

Amy said...

Those candies are adorable! I would love this ice cream! I can only imagine the wonderful sweet flavor it must have!

Kate@Diethood said...

That's just gorgeous! Every time I come here I end up with my jaw on the floor...beautiful job!!

Catherine said...

Oh, What a lovely post. It just looks so delicious and refreshing. The presentation is beautiful. Blessings, Catherine xo

Cher said...

You are just too much with the ice cream flavors! I am truly going to need to clean out a spot in my freezer soon for my ice cream cannister...

5 Star Foodie said...

What a delightful frozen treat! The addition of floral notes with the violet sounds amazing!

Foodiva said...

Amy, the candy tasted really flowery so gave a nice accent to the fruity ice cream. Btw, I love your fresh cherry ice cream recipe!

Foodiva said...

LOL, Kate you are just too funny! But many thanks, I adore your visits and comments.

Foodiva said...

Thank you, Catherine for dropping by. I just discovered your and your daughter's cooking blogs, which are both simply amazing!

Foodiva said...

Cher, yes...clean out a spot now before the summer's over!

Foodiva said...

Natasha@5 Star Foodie, what a wonderful compliment, coming from you! Thank you :-).

E.K.R said...

This post caught my attention because of the outrageous sounding flavour combination (I don't know why your flavour combos still manage to surprise me!!!)! After reading your post and recipe it sounds and looks absolutely delish! Those candies are so cute. Lovely post & photos!

ray said...

This peach and violet ice cream is exactly what I need right now on this very hot summer where I live. Your ice cream looks very refreshing.! Thank you for sharing this beautiful ice cream.

~ ray ~

penny aka jeroxie said...

you lucky girl and how cute are those violet candies. :D

Lizzy said...

Oh, my! What a gorgeous bowl of ice cream!!! Those violet candies are just darling~

PFx said...

I knew that Violets are edible but I didn't know that they have a smell. Apparently only a certain purple one have the viola smell. I wonder how it'd smell like. I certainly love the flower.
I remember when I told my ex how to grow violets from seeds, and how I told her to talk to the plants everyday so they'll grow happy. She did, it was sweet and hilarious.
So... I'm seeing so much purple since I've come to your blog... is it a thing? Hehehe.
And you must be the co-owner of Dairy queen or ice cream queen or something? ?

Jenny (VintageSugarcube) said...

I had no idea violets were edible until last week and then you post a recipe. We must be sharing a brain this week! I soooooooo sooooooo soooooo wanna try your ice cream. Can't wait till December. XO

Sandra said...

Maya how do you come up with these ideas? This is absolutely amazing, wonderful and flavorful..I had no idea about Violets, but thanks to you I now know:))

Ann said...

Incredible! So creative...and that you used white peaches so as not to take away from the violet candies brought it to a whole new level!

Mario said...

Hi Maya! Mmmmmm! I love ice cream. I love peaches. What a wonderful pairing. Thanks for the recipe! And thanks for the visit and comments on my blog.

Lilly said...

Maya you continue to amaze me! You make the most wonderful things. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

You always have a pleasant surprise on your blog Maya. I'm enjoying looking at this gorgeous ice cream. very unique and I'd love to try. It's true, I don't see too many flowers are use in cuisine here. I'm even thinking if Japanese use... hmm... they might but I just can't think of any. I see your mango donuts picture below this comment window and I gotta check that out now...

Ruth said...

Wow, this truly looks as if it should taste fantastically delicious! I think I'll have to get hold of some of that candy and try it!

Victoria said...

You're so creative!! When life hands you violet candies from France, you make this incredible ice cream!! I'm a huge peach fan, and love the floral accent here.

Magic of Spice said...

What a beautiful flavor combination for an ice cream...wonderful! I love using edible flowers in dishes but many are hard to find.
Hope you had a great weekend and have a lovely week Maya...

Trix said...

I have only recently discovered my love of lavender in cooking, but I have not cracked the surface of using flowers in food. SO MUCH to learn and do, I love it! I honestly do not know how you keep coming up with these inspired ice cream flavor combos, you rock. (And was it Thomas Edison who said that necessity is the mother of invention? That, or McGyver, lol)

Shirley said...

Thanks for your kind words on my post. I was tickled to hear your cat was named Bruce Lee. This ice cream looks lovely, and that violet candy is beautiful!

Foodiva said...

Erin@EKR, thanks for your sweet words. Sometimes my flavor combinations even surprise ME! ;-)

Foodiva said...

Ray, Penny and Lizzy, many thanks for checking out this ice cream recipe!

Foodiva said...

Pierre, I don't think I've ever held a real violet in my hands before, isn't that odd (but I'm don't feel lonely very often too, so maybe that's why :-)). And whenever I've spoken to my plants, they invariably die... sigh.

Yes, Justin Bieber and I know a good color when we see it, and yes, I'm on a roll with my ice cream machine at the moment so bear with me!

Foodiva said...

Jenny doll, good thing we share a brain and not the same style or you'd be having the hard end of the bargain (meaning, I'm STYLELESS!). LOL.

Foodiva said...

Sandra, next time you see fresh violets, you'd know what to do. Make some violet sugar, I'm sure you'll love it!

Foodiva said...

Ann, Mario and Lilly, a BIG thank you for swinging by with your kind comments!

Foodiva said...

Nami, I haven't come across any Japanese dish that utilizes flowers myself but maybe you can find out and surprise us with a lovely recipe? ;-)

Foodiva said...

Ruth, being just across the English Channel, you can probably just hop over on the train to Paris and get yourself some of these wonderfully delicious violet candies! Well, I would :-).

Foodiva said...

Victoria, LOL...love your take on the 'lemon' saying. ;-)

Foodiva said...

Alisha@Magic of Spice, you are one of the rare persons I know who uses flowers in your recipes, so you will definitely appreciate the flavors in this ice cream.

Foodiva said...

Trix, I'm like you...there's a whole universe of culinary knowledge out there waiting to be grasped! I'm really not certain who said that phrase above, but McGyver sounds good to me - plus I've actually seen him demonstrate it many times on TV! LOL.

Foodiva said...

Shirley, your Baby looked exactly like our Bruce Lee (RIP) and that's why your post touched me so. Thank you for visiting!

Spicie Foodie said...

Hello again :) I grew up eating little violet candies in Mexico and do love the sweet flower taste. This is another great ice cream flavor Maya. You could open an ice cream parlor with gourmet flavors:) Great song & video too.

Choc Chip Uru said...

What a gorgeous ice cream - it looks simply heavenly which such exotic flavours :D
Glad I found your blog!

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru
Latest: Traditional Lemon Meringue Tart

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