If dandelion wine captures the essence of summer for adults, then dandelion ice cream sums it up for kids. This flower-infused treat is sweetened with honey. All you need is one cup of dandelion petals, which should be available on any respectable pesticide-free lawn.
Making dandelions into ice cream isn’t a new idea, but rather than blossoms, most recipes use roasted dandelion roots. The book Pacific Feast: A Foragers Guide to West Coast Cooking and Cuisine has a recipe for roasted dandelion root ice cream. I’d imagine that it tastes a bit like coffee, given that roasted dandelion roots are used as a wild coffee substitute.
The blossoms have an entirely different character, and they taste like honey when made into a summertime dandelion jelly. I’m playing up their honey notes by sweetening this ice cream with a light clover honey.
Many ice cream recipes use a full cup of sugar to make this amount of ice cream. I think 1/2 a cup of honey is more than sweet enough, but adjust to your own tastes. If you find that you’re craving more sweetness, feel free to top your ice cream bowl with a bit of extra honey.
For the best flavor, remove the green leaves and stem from the dandelion flowers. The green portions have a milky sap that will give ice cream a bitter taste. Reserve just the yellow flower petals to infuse in the cream.
Start by mixing cream, half and half, honey and a pinch of salt in a saucepan. Add in the dandelion petals and bring the mixture to a simmer on the stovetop. Turn off the heat and allow the dandelion petals to infuse in the cream for at least a half an hour.
Strain the dandelion petals, and now you can proceed with making ice cream from the flower-infused cream.
Dandelion & Honey Ice Cream
This floral ice cream infuses dandelion petals into ice cream before sweetening it with honey for the perfect summer treat.
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups half and half
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 cup dandelion petals
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 6 egg yolks
Add heavy cream, half and half, honey, salt and dandelion petals to a saucepan. Slowly bring to a simmer without scorching and then remove from heat. Allow dandelions to infuse in the cream for at least 30 minutes.
Strain the dandelion blossoms from the cream. Pour the cream into another container and rinse out the saucepan to cool it. This is important because egg yolks will scramble if added to a hot pan.
Add 6 egg yolks to a clean, cooled saucepan. Whisking constantly, slowly add the cream mixture. If the cream is warm enough, the egg mixture will thicken to form a custard.
Once all the cream mixture is added, continue whisking for another few minutes. If the mixture doesn't thicken to coat the back of a spoon, turn the heat on low and whisk until it thickens. If you have an instant-read thermometer, cook until 175 degrees f.
Remove from heat and pour into a bowl to chill. Chill the custard mixture in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before processing in an ice cream maker.