Spicebush, botanically known as Lindera benzoin, is a deciduous shrub that is native to many parts of the United States and is a wonderful spice to add to ice cream recipes. It is often grown in home gardens for the aromatic yellow-green flowers that bloom in early spring or the berries that are attractive to birds. The Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly feeds on the aromatic leaves of this shrub.
The dried berries are often substituted for allspice. In order to get berries, you will need both a male and female plant. Once you get berries, you may wonder, other than using them as an allspice substitute, what you can do with them.
Here is a recipe for ice cream.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon ground spicebush berries
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a stainless steel saucepan, over medium-low heat, bring one cup of cream, honey and salt to a simmer.
- Stir constantly until the honey and salt melt.
- Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture into a bowl.
- Whisk in the remaining ingredients.
- Pour the mixture into a covered bowl.
- Refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.
- When you are ready to proceed, pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
- Be sure to store your finished ice cream in a covered dish in the freezer .