I had one of the older godchildren over to stay for 5 days recently. I mistakenly thought that as was involved with the Scouts and seems to like Bushcrafty things that he would be into foraging. No such luck – though it might have been because it was with me… he definitely preferred HH’s ‘man crafts’ this time round. They made small aluminium stoves out of drinks cans, hobo stoves from cutlery drainers, and spent quite some time tweaking them – many thanks HH 🙂
However the one plant related thing that seemed to go down well was, you guessed it, ice cream. nom nom nom lol.
First get reluctant teenager to pick lots of Honeysuckle blossoms. Then go and get lots more yourself as 5 flowers does not an ice cream make.
I went for quite a large bowl full to get as much pollen and nectar into the cream as possible.
Try to make sure no wee beaties are present. Pick on a dry day and early on so that all the oils haven’t evaporated off in any midday sun – this has actually become an issue for us in bonny Scotland recently as we’re in the presence of a decent summer! It’s not something I normally have to worry about 😉
Cover the blossoms with cream, either double or single. Both have a good fat and water content. Leave to steep, covered, overnight in the fridge. The water soluble components will dissolve in the water phase of the cream while the fat soluble compounds will be absorbed into the fat in the cream. This way we get as many constituents out of the honeysuckle as we can.
Don’t forget to put your ice cream tub or container into the freezer to solidify and chill down properly. I used a small, home ice cream maker; the kind with a bowl you put in the freezer, add the contents, and its churned up in the bowl with a paddle. Takes about 15-30 mins from adding your cream mix to the bowl and switching on.
Next day strain out the cream from the blossoms
2 egg yolks ( so avoid this recipe if you’re pregnant)
70g icing sugar
200 ml milk (again you can infuse blossoms in the milk – I didn’t as we were running out of fridge space)
200ml of the infused cream
300g of fresh strawberries. I used mainly normal ones via the market but I also used some of the little wild strawberries that are trying to take over my monoblock and front garden.
1. beat the egg yolks and icing sugar until light and creamy.
2.Add the milk and stir in.
3, In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it is stiff.
4. Add the cream to the egg mixture and combine thoroughly.
5. Puree the strawberries and add to the mixture. It’s your choice whether you want a smooth puree or leave it chunkier with bigger bits in. With a fussy eater of a teenager our version had to be smooth, and triple checked for no ‘bits’ in. He was unhappy with the seeds, but even he conceeded that it wasn’t really an issue.
6. Chill in fridge for 4 hours or put mixture in freezer for 30 mins or so to chill down.
7. Set up ice cream maker, ignoring helpful teenage interventions, and add mixture. let paddle do its work, et voila! Delicious ice cream, well technically a parfait I believe, as it’s basically a custard. Even a teenager has given it a seal of approval, what more could I say! lol. The honeysuckle, although a mild, subtle flavour, lingers after the fresh hit of the strawberry and so makes it appearance at the end of the mouthful. It softens the strawberry and makes it a bit more elegant.
Other options for this might be to use coconut cream and milk if you are dairy intolerant, although i would be tempted to also substitute the flowers then, and use Gorse flowers instead. Try other variations and see what works for you. My next version is going to be with sweet cicely or lemon balm, tho’ the lemon balm might be nicer as a sorbet…. so many things to try now, might need to let that waistband out (again! ) oops.
Not many photos for this, sorry, but it all chuntered along so quickly that by the time I had thought of them it was all over with – and eaten!