What is the best part of traveling for you? For me, it’s allowing myself to be pulled into the beauty and magic of the cultures around the world. One of the best-kept secrets to having an authentic experience is to share that time with a local. Today, I’m going to share the story of how we learned how to make homemade Italian ice cream!
Using Airbnb Experiences to Find Local Cultural Experiences
While we live in a highly connected world, we don’t always know someone at every destination. This is where some incredible discoveries have been a game-changer for me. The first one I’m going to share today is this little company you’ve probably heard of called Airbnb hah! For the longest time, I used them solely for unique places to stay. While planning our Italian getaway one summer, I stumbled upon an organic cooking experience on Airbnb. This is where I met Joana who lives with her family in a charming farmhouse – nestled behind a villa – overlooking the hills of Chianti.
Picking Fresh Plums in Italy
After picking us up from the station at Impruneta, Joana gave us a tour of the grounds where we plucked fresh plums off the trees and picked lavender for a desert we would be making for dinner. Her daughter then showed us how to make a delicious peach crostata that we enjoyed in the garden. While waiting for the dinner we made together to cook through, we shared some drinks and snacked on blistered peppers on a wooden platform under two beautiful mature trees while taking in the breathtaking view of the farmland.
An Easy and Delectable Italian Dessert Recipe
While I will be sharing more of this magical experience throughout this month, today, I am going to share a refreshing fragrant dessert, adapted from a recipe we learned from Joana. Scroll down to learn how to make homemade Italian ice cream! The prep is easy and I promise you that the hardest parts will be prepping your ice cream maker that will be doing most of the work – thankfully! We had this ice cream over baked peaches (another easy and yummy recipe Joana can perhaps show us live one day)! Till then, enjoy this recipe for one of the best honey & lavender ice creams we’ve had.
How to Make Homemade Italian Ice Cream
HONEY & LAVENDER ICE-CREAM RECIPE
2 cups of heavy cream
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup honey
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12-15 lavender flowers
Prep your ice cream machine. This varies depending on what you have. We have to cool ours in the freezer for a few hours so make sure you do this in advance if yours requires this step. I get mine ready a day ahead of time.
In a shallow pot over low-medium heat, warm up the heavy cream, half and half, lavender flowers and salt.
Stir consistently and bring to a gentle simmer. Wait for it to cool a little (about 10mins) and stir in the honey. Mix well and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.
Remove the flowers with a strainer and add mixture to your ice cream machine. Churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions (usually about 20-30 mins). Serve immediately or freeze to serve later!
Thank you for coming along on our magical Italian vacation!
Mirfie & the Chan Fam
PS You can learn more about our family story here!