Honeysuckle Ice Cream

honeysuckle ice cream

Homemade Honeysuckle Ice Cream

In life, as well as in the kitchen, I’m a big believer in making use of what you’ve got, and right now I’ve got a rambling honeysuckle vine draped over my front porch, just coming into bloom this week.  Last year at this same time I made HONEYSUCKLE ICED TEA with those very blossoms and I was amazed at how beautifully the fragrant nectar of the flowers infused into the tea.  The flavor is subtle and exotic, and since you can’t actually see any evidence of honeysuckle in this ice cream, it’s one of those recipes that requires a little bit of imagination.  If you’ve ever gotten a whiff of a honeysuckle flower, you’ll know what I’m talking about.  When you translate that into a food, it’s like nothing you’ve ever tasted…kind of a hybrid of flavor and scent, and it really stretches my whole concept of what a flavor can be.

homemade honeysuckle ice cream

The light floral makes a surprisingly refreshing ice cream.  I added the vanilla bean to ground it with a familiar flavor, but the honeysuckle holds its own, which makes sense since it was created by Mother Nature to be a powerful attractant.

honeysuckle ice cream, infused with the subtle perfume of honeysuckle blossoms

The process for making this ice cream is simple enough.  I just picked a big bunch of blossoms (it’s best to pick edible flowers in the morning when they’re fresh) and removed any leaves and stems.  The flowers come in little pairs, and you want to pinch them off all the way down where they attach to the leaves, because that’s where the nectar is stored.  I steeped them in my cream, milk, and sugar mixture by bringing it all up to a simmer and then turning off the heat.  I let it cool, then refrigerate it over night to give the flavor plenty of time to infuse.  In the morning I strained out the flowers, added vanilla bean, and processed it in my ice cream maker.

making honeysuckle ice cream

This is a very delicate flavor, definitely not meant for gobs of chocolate sauce or sprinkles.  Serve it simply, all by itself, or with a plain cookie, and let the unique floral perfume of the blossoms shine.  Save a few fresh flowers to scatter around for effect.

honeysuckle ice cream

This would be a very elegant dessert to serve at a spring shower or dinner party.

delicately flavored honeysuckle ice cream

Honeysuckle Ice Cream

Yield: makes about 1 pint

Honeysuckle Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups honeysuckle blossoms (this is approximate)
  • seeds from 1 vanilla bean

Instructions

  1. Put the cream, milk and sugar into a medium saucepan and stir to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Add the honeysuckle blossoms into the pan and and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Turn off the heat and let the mixture come to room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate overnight.
  4. In the morning, strain the blossoms out and add the vanilla bean seeds. Mix well to break apart any clumped seeds.
  5. Process the cold mixture in your ice cream machine according to its directions.
  6. Put the soft ice cream in the freezer to firm up before serving.

honeysuckle flavored ice cream

Honeysuckle bushes or vines are very common in the States, so check around and see if you can spot one.  Depending on where you live, they will come into bloom sometime in the early spring and go right through summer.  If you don’t happen to have a honeysuckle vine handy, don’t worry, you’re not out of luck.  You can do this same thing with all kinds of edible flowers.  Just be sure your flowers are clean and pesticide free.  I think roses would work wonderfully, just remove the petals and steep them just like I did with the honeysuckle.  Jasmine, lilac, or lavender would also work – pick a flavor that you like and give it a try.

delicately flavored honeysuckle ice cream

Why should hummingbirds have all the fun?

 

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42 Comments

  • Reply
    Crystal
    April 25, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    I have a recipe that involves heavy cream in a mason jar. Is it possible to infuse the heavy cream with honeysuckle and then cool it back down before using it in my recipe?

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 25, 2018 at 8:00 pm

      I don’t see why not, and I think you can infuse it cold, too, it just might take overnight in the fridge.

  • Reply
    Honeysuckle Recipes ~ Delicious Uses for a Fragrant Flower - HealthyGreenSavvy
    April 14, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    […] ? One clever cook has even created a honeysuckle ice cream recipe. […]

  • Reply
    Diane Dommer
    December 22, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Can honeysuckle essential oil be used for flavoring?

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 22, 2017 at 3:04 pm

      It’s only safe to eat certain food-grade essential oils, and I haven’t used them for flavoring, so I can’t say. I do associate them more with scent than flavor, but it’s something I’ll look into Diane.

  • Reply
    Amanda Proctor
    May 14, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    I would love to try this ice cream but I do not have a ice cream machine (and cannot afford to get one right now)! So, I was wondering if you could make this ice cream without a ice cream maker??? Any suggestions are welcomed. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 14, 2017 at 9:34 pm

      You could use my no churn formula, which involves whipping heavy cream, and blending it with sweetened condensed milk, and freezing until scoop-able. You would infuse the flowers into the cream the same way you do in this recipe, but omit the sugar. See my no-churn vanilla ice cream recipe for more details: http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/no-churn-vanilla-bean-ice-cream/

  • Reply
    cakespy
    April 4, 2017 at 4:43 am

    This popped up as a featured recipe and like WHOA! It’s lovely and I can only imagine the fragrant, fresh flavor. Perfect!

  • Reply
    Eileen
    March 12, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Oh, wow. This looks wonderful. I love using flowers as flavoring. Can’t wait to try this.

  • Reply
    Marlene
    June 21, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Oh my! Now I wish I still had my vine, as we had to pull it out to build our new pool deck, it covered the entire side of the old deck! I started with 2 very small 4 inch plants, it is my all time favorite flower! I plan to replace it but haven’t figured out where I want it yet as I want it nearby my back deck so I can smell the wonderful fragrance it gives off! I will try to find some flowers somewhere that I can pick to make this wonderful ice cream! It looks and sounds delicious!

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 21, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Marlene – I hope you get some new vines planted soon!

  • Reply
    Kenan
    May 14, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Can’t wait to try this! :)

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 14, 2015 at 12:05 pm

      Please let me know what you think, Kenan!

  • Reply
    Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily
    April 18, 2015 at 11:50 am

    this is the best ice cream idea in the history of ice cream! Stunning photographs! {PS congrats on your InStyle interview!}

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 18, 2015 at 1:13 pm

      thanks Gwen :) :)

  • Reply
    Sarah | Broma Bakery
    April 16, 2015 at 7:00 am

    Just the title of the post names me swoon. Honeysuckle Ice Cream! Oh I just love it. What a fantastic idea, Sue! By the way, my sister sent me a link to your blog the other week and said “what a great name and a great blog.” I replied “duh, I follow her already!!”

  • Reply
    Liz+@+Floating+Kitchen
    April 16, 2015 at 6:11 am

    First up – these photos are just gorgeous! And second – honeysuckle ice cream is brilliant. I had it growing all over my yard in California and I can still smell it. Glorious!!!

  • Reply
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    April 16, 2015 at 5:50 am

    What a delightful sounding flavour! I don’t think I’ve ever tried anything like this before but now that I’ve seen your recipe I want to seek out honeysuckle flowers :D

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