Honeysuckle – Lonicera periclymenum

Honeysuckle

The gorgeous scent of this plant is stronger in the evening than during the day and it is said that moths can smell it from a quarter of a mile away.  Its flowers are edible and absolutely delicious – great thrown into salads or used to decorate deserts.  They also contain salicylic acid which is the main ingredient in aspirin.  A honeysuckle-flower syrup can help ease coughs and sore throats. Keep well away from the berries though and they are poisonous.

The following recipe for Honeysuckle sorbet is a must try!

Pick the flowers on a hot day when the sun has been on them for a few hours.

Serves 6

  • 850 g fresh honeysuckle blossoms
  • Just under 1.5 litres cool water
  • Pinch allspice

Syrup:

  • 380 g sugar
  • 500 ml water
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • Allspice or ground cinnamon

Put flowers in large bowl, cover with cool water and leave overnight to infuse.

To make the syrup, put the sugar and 500 ml water into a pan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.  Bring to the boil and boil for a couple of minutes to thicken into a syrup.  Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice.  Leave to cool.

Strain the water from the flowers into a jug, squeezing every last drop of juice out of them.  Add the infusion to the syrup with a small pinch of the spice.  Pour the mixture into an ice-cream maker.  Garnish the finished sorbet with honeysuckle blossom and mint leaves.