Ever since I first got The Hedgerow Handbook, I’ve wanted to go foraging. It’s such a beautiful book and one recipe really caught my eye: honeysuckle sorbet. Since my last post I’ve also been wanting to use flowers in my cooking. So these aren’t directly edible but they add such a delicate, beautiful taste. A couple of days, I made use of the remainder of the sunny weather and went foraging.
I don’t know how easy it will be to find many of the plants in this book but to my luck, honeysuckle is abundant where I live, and I had a lot of fun finding new patches in the early morning sun. For these recipes, the foraging is as much a part of the process as the cooking and it’s a lovely way to include friends and family, or in my case, to walk the dog.
Despite its abundance, I didn’t want to take too much honeysuckle from one place so I ended with much less than the recipe asked for. I made a couple of adjustments to make up for it though. I didn’t have an ice cream maker to make it and the consistency came out much more snow-like but the taste was beautiful: so delicate and sweet.
Honeysuckle sorbet: (serves 4-6)
1 cup honeysuckle flowers
Just less than 700 ml water
125 g granulated sugar
A further 160 ml water
A squeeze of lemon juice
A pinch of cinnamon
Honeysuckle flowers and mint leaves for garnish
Pour the 700 ml water over the honeysuckle flowers, cover and leave for a day and a night.
Pour the sugar and remaining water into a heavy bottomed saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Add the lemon juice and mix in. Leave the syrup to cool and thicken a little.
Sieve the honeysuckle water into a freezer-proof bowl, squeezing all the juice out of the flowers. Add the syrup and cinnamon to this and mix.
Place this into an ice cream maker if you have one. If not, place this in the freezer. Allow to begin to solidify and mash with a for.
Leave overnight and mash again. Leave for at least and hour then pour into a food processor and blend until it looks like snow.
Place in the freezer for 30 minutes or so to ensure it is solid then serve with flowers and mint for garnish.