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Pine Needle Ice Cream

Prep Time:

30 minutes, plus freezing

Cook Time:

15-30 minutes


3-4 people




  • 10+ young long shoots of Douglas fir, Norway spruce or Sitka spruce

  • 150ml double cream

  • 150ml semi-skimmed or whole milk

  • 3 egg yolks

  • 75g caster sugar


Put the conifer shoots in a saucepan and pour in the milk and double cream. On a gentle heat, warm the saucepan until it is about to simmer and take it off the heat. Leave for at least half an hour or longer so it can infuse. In a separate heat-proof bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until pale and creamy. Reheat the saucepan mix until about to simmer, then pour it through a sieve into the bowl, mixing into the yolk/sugar, then pour it into a clean saucepan. Put it back on the heat, stirring with a spoon constantly until it has thickened (and coats the back of the spoon). Remove from the heat immediately and pour either into a container to freeze or into an ice cream machine. If you’re doing it without a machine, take the container out of the freezer after a few hours, stir to break up the ice crystals and return to the freezer.

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