If you’ve eaten Brussels sprouts or broccoli you’ve eaten flowers. So why not eat nasturtiums too?
Goat Cheese Nasturtium Ice Cream
(From Miche Bacher’s Cooking with Flowers. Published by Quirk Books.)
I can’t resist goat cheese. Hard, soft, aged, fresh—I love it all. With the addition of nasturtiums, this goat cheese ice cream treads the line between sweet and savory (like most of my favorite indulgences). In fact, if you want to push it up to the top of your menu, you could serve it with savory toppings such as caramelized onions, crunchy bacon pieces, or spiced nuts and call it an appetizer. Try it; see if anyone argues.
Makes about 2 quarts.
1 cup (8 ounces) goat cheese*
1 ½ cups milk
2/3 cup sugar, divided
6 egg yolks
Pinch sea salt
1/3 cup nasturtium flowers, finely chopped
*Fresh, soft goat cheese is ideal for making ice cream.
1. Put goat cheese in a large (3-quart) heatproof container that has a lid.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm milk and stir in half the sugar. Simmer until sugar dissolves. Meanwhile, whisk yolks with the remaining sugar and salt in a heatproof bowl. When the milk has absorbed all the sugar—but before it comes to a boil—begin to temper your eggs by slowly pouring half the warm milk mixture over the yolk mixture while whisking vigorously. Then slowly pour the egg-milk mixture back into the saucepan, whisking vigorously. Heat mixture until it coats the back of a spoon and the temperature reaches 165°F on a candy thermometer.
3. Slowly pour mixture over goat cheese, whisking to fully dissolve and incorporate it. Fold in chopped flowers and chill mixture for at least 4 hours and up to overnight. Freeze in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Let ice cream sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving.
Note: The flowers will release their essential oils when they absorb some of the residual heat from the cream.