If you’ve ever pulled a drop of nectar out of a honeysuckle flower, eagerly ingesting its intoxicating scent, imagine eating that same flavor by the spoonful! In this recipe, cinnamon and honeysuckle flowers team up to create the ultimate nostalgia-inducing sorbet (if honeysuckle happens to induce nostalgia in you).
On top of the sensational taste, when we harvest honeysuckle we are harvesting an invasive plant with a penchant for taking over hillsides and shading out our native plants. This means that you can pick honeysuckle flowers without fear of overharvesting and that in some cases harvesting the flowers can actually help native plant populations. When you pick the flowers, it reduces the production of honeysuckle berries which is one of the main ways that honeysuckle spreads. So grab your jar and let’s get honeysuckling!
This recipe is inspired by Bill Smith's Honeysuckle Sorbet in Garden & Gun.
The sorbet is best the day it is made. If you have leftovers, you can let them thaw in the fridge for 15 minutes before serving for a softer sorbet.
I recommend using a mix of orange and white blossoms as well as the closed white buds because this is what I usually find when I am harvesting and they each add slightly different elements to the flavor. However, you can use whatever mixture you find as long as it is at least 2/3 opened flowers.
To make this alcohol-free, you can use 1/3 cup water with a few drops of lemon juice in place of the wine. I would also recommend adding an additional 1/4 cup of sugar in step 1 to help create a softer sorbet.
Sassafras leaves have a very different taste from the better-known sassafras root. The leaves add a soft lemony flavor to the sorbet.
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