The lovely team at Taste the Wild who run courses about wild food foraging, have supplied us with two recipes for gorse. Yes that’s right … gorse, that spiky, shrub with bright yellow flowers that grows around moors and heaths and is in flower right now. The branches are covered in spikes, but according to Taste the Wild, you can collect the flowers to make a delicious ice cream or jelly. ‘They smell and taste something between coconut and vanilla” they say. You can also crystallise them, make up a syrup or pop the flowers into a salad.
Gorse Flower Ice cream
• 200ml milk
• 2 egg yolks
• 150g sugar
• 200ml double cream
• 2 large handfuls of gorse flowers
• A few grains of salt
Put the egg yolks, sugar and salt in a large bowl and beat until well
Put the milk and flowers in a pan and heat on a medium heat until
very nearly boiling. Then pour immediately onto the egg and sugar mixture
stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the mixture through a sieve
into a clean bowl pressing the flowers to extract all the flavour.
Add the double cream and leave to cool. If you have an ice cream maker, pour in the cooled cream mixture and churn for 30 minutes or until ready.
If you do not have an ice cream maker put the mixture in a freezer proof box and freeze until nearly set, then stir vigorously. Repeat this until the mix becomes ice cream.
Gorse Flower Jelly
Citric acid is usually available from chemists or online
½ ltr water
2 large handfuls of gorse flowers
3 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp citric acid
4 sheets of gelatine
Put the water, flowers, sugar and citric acid into a pan and bring to the
boil stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
While you are waiting for the pan to boil put the gelatine in a bowl of cold water to soften for 5 minutes.
When the flowery syrup comes to the boil remove it from the
heat and leave for around 5 minutes for the flavour to develop.
Remove the gelatine from the water when it is ready and squeeze out any excess
liquid. Put it into a clean bowl big enough to hold all the liquid. Taste
the syrup and when the flavour is good, strain it through a fine mesh sieve
onto the gelatine and stir until dissolved. Refrigerate for a couple of
hours to set the jelly.
To find out more about Taste the Wild and to book onto a course go to: www.tastethewild.co.uk