The floral scent of elderflowers turns this creamy ice cream into a special summer treat. This seasonal elderflower ice cream is rich and luscious with aromatic elderflower flavor.
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Every time I see elderflowers bloom I have a million ideas and recipes I want to try. Knowing their benefits and the fact that they bloom for 3 weeks only makes me impatient and even more experimental than I usually am. I find their smell and color very inspiring. They are perfect to use in natural skincare products but also delicious to eat. Elderflower cordial is a must have item in our household. Elderflower fritters became our regular dish this time of the year. But now their floral scent inspired me to make something sweet and memorable. Ice cream.
Summer would not be summer without Ice-cream. Ice-cream is the favorite currency of love.Puck
Elderflower ice cream is not a regular flavor ice cream. It is not ranking in any top charts of ice creams neither in America nor in Europe. You also cannot buy one in any of the shops. At least not in any shop near me. There is an ice cream shop around the corner from me. It’s a very popular place with plenty of people waiting in line to get their scoop of wonder. There you can find more than 40 different flavors including herbal ones like basil, mint, cinnamon, lavender or rhubarb but no elderflowers. Why not? It’s floral scent and flavor make this ice cream unique in every way…
How to make Elderflower ice cream?
Preparing the blossoms
This recipe requires you to go and collect some elderflower blossoms first. There are many recipes on the internet where you can make your own elderflower ice cream from cordial but I somehow like this extra step and that is collect your own herbs before you start the recipe. This is also a great way to get to know the herb, its smell, color, etc. In case you don't have access to elderflowers you can buy dried ones
Once you have the blossoms try - Marshmallow fluff with Elderflowers, or these easy to make Elderflower popsicles that you will not regret it. If you want to support your gut health try This Elderflower yogurt that will quickly become a healthy breakfast or snack.
Other also important steps
Once you have 4 elderflower blossoms you need to infuse them in the cream. In order for the cream to take over their smell and aromatic flavor it’s important that you keep the pollen on the blossom. The pollen is a carrier of taste and smell so make sure you collect the flowers on a sunny day. collecting just after it has rained will hinder their unique smell and taste. Just carefully observe the blossoms and remove bugs or ants if needed. Then the blossoms are ready for infusion. We will use just the small blossoms for the infusion so remove all stalks. The blossoms will absorb the cream overnight while refrigerated.
Put all the small blossoms in a jar. Pour cold cream on them, then cover it with a lid and keep refrigerated for 24 hours. I have tried using warm cream but it didn’t work well. The blossoms darken in color and lose their intensive smell. So make sure you use cold cream.
On the second day, squeeze elderflower cream over a soft canvas or textile bag. Add raw sugar, pour in milk and heat gently.
In a separate bowl whisk some egg yolks. Then proceed to pour your heated mixture into the whipped eggs while stirring.
Pour the liquid back into the saucepan, heat again gently and stir until the mixture thickens. It should have a consistency of thin pudding. (Try to put a spatula in the mixture and make a line with a finger. If the line on the squeegee remains, the consistency should be correct.)
Pour the mixture over the fine strainer back into the bowl. Add sour cream and lemon juice and mix.
Do you have an ice cream maker?
This makes the ice cream mixture ready. It can be poured into an ice cream maker, or it can be frozen in the freezer. To achieve a fluffy and smooth texture, the mixture should be pulled out every half hour and mixed with a hand mixer. It will also break the ice crystals and make the ice cream smooth.
The mixture must solidify for 4-5 hours.
Can I avoid eggs in this recipe
Eggs (especially yolks) make the mixture coagulate into gel similar to thin pudding and prevents the creation of water crystals. Eggs also act as emulsifiers that help blend the water and fat part in a creamy emulsion. I strongly recommend using eggs however if you prefer avoiding them you can also make this ice cream without eggs. Albeit the ice cream might melt faster and might be more frozen than fluffy.
These Elderflower and Strawberry Popsicles might be a solution if you want to go for eggs free treat with a taste of elderflowers.
Alternatively you can make fruits sorbet instead as it doesn't require any eggs or cream. These four types of sorbets combinations of various fruits and herbs make a luscious and refreshing summer treat.
Is sugar necessary for this ice cream?
I am the type of person that tries to reduce the amount of sugar to a minimum or replace it with healthier alternatives. In this particular recipe, I wanted to replace the sugar with elderflower cordial to make the elderflower taste even more intensive. But after some research I decided not to as the sugar in ice cream doesn’t act only as a sweetener. Sugar plays an important role in the texture of the ice cream. If replaced with other liquid alternatives (any kind of syrup) the ice cream will not be smooth and soft. I used raw sugar in this recipe and minimized its amount. Feel free to add more if you prefer the really sweet taste.
Sugar also affects the way ice cream freezes. Without sugar, ice cream will develop bigger ice crystals that are not pleasant to eat.
I added lemon to this recipe as it compliments the floral taste of elderflowers. However, I have seen elderflower ice cream recipes with gooseberries, rhubarb, blackberries or strawberries.
Advantages of homemade ice cream
- you can try various flavors that are not available in the shop such as elderflower, foie gras, wasabi, pizza flavor, lemongrass, sweet corn, you name it.
- sugar control - by making your own, you can adjust the quantity and type of sugar. Alternatively use any other replacements such as honey, syrups or low carb sweeteners.
- commercially made ice creams contain a lot of artificial flavors and additives, homemade ice cream is free of that.
- fresh ingredients - by making homemade ice cream you control the selection of ingredients, their freshness, origin, organic, etc.