Violet Ice-cream

After quite a bit of thought and fiddling around, I finally came up with a violet ice-cream recipe.  Not too much colour… very subtle flavour, most of it coming as an after-taste, like most perfumes  (think truffle, jasmine… an ethereal waft that floats between the nostrils and the tip of your tongue).

Violet Ice-cream

4 egg yolks
135g sugar
400 ml full cream milk
100 ml heavy cream, chilled
1 tbsp Monin violet syrup
1 tbsp violet liqueur (Creme de Violettes)
2 drops pink food colouring
2 drops blue food colouring

Heat the milk with half the sugar taking care not to let it boil.
Beat the yolks with the remaining sugar until the mixture is thick and white.
Slowly pour the heated milk over the yolk mixture, beating well.
Return the mixture to the saucepan and simmer, whisking continuously, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon.
Make sure it doesn’t boil.  If you have a candy thermometer, the temperature of the mixture should reach 85°C.  Remove from the heat immediately. Stir well and add the chilled cream. Flavour with the violet syrup and liqueur and tint with the food colouring.
Cool completely and churn in an ice-cream churn.
Garnish with fresh or crystallised violets.

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Violet Time

Violet products

I was visiting friends in the country last week. It was a grey day and the autumn colours were rendered even more brilliant for having been washed by the rain. The rain let up just before I arrived and a quick tour of the garden before lunch had me lusting after the huge crop of violets peeking out from under heart shaped dark leaves.
Melancholy, cool days with the pigeon-breast skies and falling leaves that herald the arrival of winter winter have me  feeling like changing my summer fig perfume for Penhaligon’s Violetta and snuggle on the couch under a soft woolen throw with a good book and relaxing music. A little vase of fresh violets always makes me smile too.  It is a shame they have such a short vase life although I have found that, if they are sprayed with a light mist of water several times a day, they can last up to four or five days.
I keep a little tin of Violette flavoured “Les Anis de Flavigny” pastilles on the side table or in my handbag. These are violet flavoured sugar drops concealing a grain of  real aniseed… a wonderful pick me up and mouth freshener. (I prefer Orange Blossom and Rose flavours the rest of the year)

If a friend comes to visit, we may have an Aviation Cocktail made with Creme de Violette liqueur or, if that is too much trouble, a glass of sparkling white wine  or even plain water with a splash of Monin Violet syrup to set the mood.   This season, with all these wonderful violet products as well as a fresh supply of crystallised violets in the pantry, I may just try to make some violet icecream…. shall keep you posted.

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