Chef John Malik

a writer trapped in a cook's body

Is that Honeysuckle local?

| 6 Comments

Honeysuckle is in bloom right now.  It seems to be everywhere, if you drive with your windows down, the perfume from this wildflower rushes in with the breeze.  Honeysuckle has such a wonderful aroma and flavor and that flavor can be captured, you just have to pick a lot of the blossoms.  So the other day I grabbed a quart container and walked behind the restaurant to pick some blossoms.  Our bartender Jay joined me, he’s making a bottle of infused gin, that’s right, honeysuckle gin.  So I picked a bunch of the blossoms and made a custard for our strawberry short cake dessert.  Here we go:

 

Honeysuckle blossom

 

I saw this guy hanging out so I gave him some room, this is a Black Rat Snake, non-venomous, he was making his way through the leaves and didn't "hear" me because he wasn't on the ground but I felt like I was being watched, and sure enough

 

I picked about two cups of blossoms

A quart of cream, a cup of sugar, a pinch of salt, two vanilla beans split and cut in half and onto the stove, then brought to a simmer

whisk as it comes to a simmer, make sure the sugar dissolves

In another bowl I have ten egg yolks and three heaping tablespoons of corn starch, whisk that together then slowly add some of the warm cream to the yolks

I added about a third of the cream to the yolks then poured the cream/yolk mixture into the pot, turned the flame to medium and while whisking constantly I cooked the mixture for about another sixty seconds until it thickened

 

Then I strained the custard by pushing it through a fine strainer

Then I placed the bowl of custard over a larger bowl that was filled with ice water

 

For service I placed a dollop of custard on the plate, then the bottom half of the short cake went on top, then another dollop of custard

 

Then we finished the dessert with local strawberries and white chocolate whipped cream, since the short cake is warm and everythig else is cold, the top of the cake was sliding around. We sold about 24 of these on Saturday night. On of our servers was at a table describing this dish and was asked if the "Honeysuckle was local?" He grinned and replied "Oh yes ma'am, it's very Local"

 

 

 

Daniel prefers his strawberries as a Mojito

un

 

Author: ChefJohn

Cook without tattoo, writer without a pen

6 Comments

  1. Sadly, the aroma of fresh honeysuckle is not common in NYC but I imagined that I could smell the fragrance after reading your vivid article. The dessert looks delicious! And, tell Jay to make me some honeysuckle vodka (I’m not a gin drinker!)

  2. What a lovely infused custard! Is it local?! Sometimes that question just makes me laugh! 😉

  3. Just shows what a numpty I am. My neighbour has Honeysuckle and it grows over and through the fence. I chop it off and throw it in the compost, numpty and my grand kids love my home made custard, maybe they will like this too….

  4. I wish I could get honeysuckle. I have too many dessert ideas. Good that you’ve got some a few feet away!

  5. Hold on there, honeysuckle… I had no idea you could cook with the blossoms. Too bad we don’t honeysuckle in California!

  6. I’ve never had an infused custard or at least I don’t think I have. This sounds interesting!

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.


%d bloggers like this: