Dandelion & Honey Ice Cream

I’m feeling particularly frugal these pandemic days, so it seemed like the right time to try cooking with dandelions. I mostly dig them out of my garden, but they keep coming back, and I had no trouble harvesting enough to gather a cup of dandelion petals. I wish I’d saved the roots too, as apparently when roasted they make a coffee-like ice cream. Next year — I’m out of dandelions now. 

I honestly wasn’t sure I’d like this! But it turns out I love it — I kept going back to the ice cream churn to see if I could scrape out a little more before rinsing it out. I think this is delicious, and well worth your time.

I ended up using a clover honey picked up at our local store, Carnivore Oak Park, one that came advertised as being loaded with pollen, I assume because pollen is supposed to be good for you? I don’t know — something new to research. I would recommend choosing a mild honey, to let the subtle dandelion flavor shine through.

I served mine with fresh mango — springtime and summer mixed together in a bowl.

 

*****

Dandelion & Honey Ice Cream

The flavors here are delicately floral / herbal — this reminds me of Indian ice cream, oddly enough, maybe because I’m more used to honey and floral rose flavors there? It takes like sunshine on a warm spring day.

Ingredients:
* 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
* 1 1/2 cups half and half
* 1/2 cup mild honey
* about 1 cup dandelion petals
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 6 egg yolks

1. Harvest about 2-3 cups of dandelions (grown in an area that’s free of pesticides / herbicides), rinse well, and let dry. Remove the petals, being careful to separate out and discard the bitter green leaves and stem. You’ll need about 1 cup of dandelion petals for 1 batch of ice cream. (This part is a little time-consuming, but fun to do with a willing child, should you have one on hand.)

2. Combine cream, half-and-half, honey, salt, and dandelion petals in a saucepan. Turn heat to medium for a few minutes to bring the temperature up, then turn down to a simmer, stirring the whole time. When it’s simmering (with little bubbles around the edge), remove it from the heat and add the dandelion petals. Let steep for 30 minutes.

3. Strain the dandelion blossoms out, pouring the cream into another container (one with a spout will make the next step easier, such as a glass measuring cup). Rinse the saucepan to cool it and return to stove.

4. Add egg yolks to the pan and whisk in the cream mixture. Turn the heat to low and continue to whisk until it thickens to a custard (thick enough to coat the back of a spoon).

5. Remove from heat and pour back into the container you used before. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

6. Churn in an ice cream maker. If you like, stir in a few more dandelion petals at the end for a pretty presentation. Perfect for a picnic in the grass. 

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