I recently learned that peony blossoms are edible, so I decided to combine them with rose petals (also edible) in this ice cream recipe.
I grow both peonies and roses in my flower garden and I never spray them with chemicals. If you plan to make this ice cream (or anything else) with edible flowers, please do make sure they are organic and unsprayed (also keep in mind that peonies are poisonous to cats, so watch out for your feline friends when making this treat).
The floral notes here are pretty subtle so you could definitely play around with the amount of petals you infuse, but I used rosewater to boost the flavor and I was happy with the result. Make sure to taste the custard as you are mixing in the rosewater to determine how much, if any, you want to add.
Recipe for Edible Flower Ice Cream
adapted from Dabblings and Whimsey
Yield: a little more than a quart of ice cream
- 2 cups organic whole milk
- 2 cups organic heavy cream
- 3/4 cup organic sugar
- very clean petals from 4 peonies (I used white peonies); make sure they have not been sprayed with chemicals
- very clean petals from 4-6 roses; make sure they have not been sprayed with chemicals
- 2-4 teaspoons rose water, or less/more to taste- optional
- Heat the milk with the cream and the sugar. Remove from heat before it comes to a boil, and stir well to ensure the sugar has dissolved. Add the flower petals, cover, and allow to infuse for 1-2 hours.
- Pour the infused liquid through a strainer into a bowl, squeezing out the petals to extract all of their flavor. Compost or discard the flower petals. Reheat the milk/cream mixture over medium heat to just before boiling, then turn off the heat.
- Beat the egg yolks with a fork or wire whisk. Slowly pour 1 cup of the the warmed, infused milk/cream into the egg yolks; whisk constantly while you do this so that the egg yolks don’t cook.
- Pour the tempered eggs back in with the rest of the milk/cream and place over medium heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pan as you do so, until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon (this will take several minutes).
- Remove from the heat and immediately pour the custard through a fine mesh strainer. Use a wooden spoon to push it through, if necessary. Stir the custard thoroughly, transfer to an appropriate container, then cover and chill completely in the refrigerator (overnight is best).
- Proceed with making the ice cream according to your manufacturer’s instructions.
–Winnie Abramson writes the organic gardening and food blog Healthy Green Kitchen.
Photo credits: Winnie Abramson