Evergreen Ice Cream

We served this to a friend last week and he said it was the best ice cream he had ever tasted! So here is the recipe.

This recipe requires you to make a tincture of Pine needles 24 hours before you make the Ice Cream. It’s very simple to do with Pine, Spruce or Fir tree needles.  

Pine Needle Tincture

  • 3 tablespoons of washed and finely chopped Pine needles
  • 30ml Vodka
  • ¼ teaspoonful of sugar
pine tincture

There has been no colour enhancement here. It really does turn this green!!

Dry the pine needles on a piece of kitchen roll, chop very finely and put them in to a small jar. Add the vodka and sugar, put on the lid and give it a good shake. Leave for 24 hours shaking it every few hours. When you are ready to use it strain through a tea strainer into a small clean cup or jug.


Pine Chocolate Chip Ice CreamPine Choc Chip ice cream

  • 2 Egg yolks
  • 150g Caster Sugar
  • A few grains of salt
  • 200ml Milk
  • 200ml Double Cream
  • 2tbsp/30ml Pine Needle Tincture
  • 100g Dark Chocolate Chips
  • A couple of drops of green food colouring (optional)

Put the egg yolks, sugar and salt in a large bowl and beat until well blended. Put the milk in a pan and heat gently until very hot but not 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. Add the double cream and Pine needle Tincture then leave to cool. If you have an ice cream maker pre-cool it, add the Ice cream mixture and churn for 30 minutes or until nearly ready, add the Chocolate chips and churn for another few minutes. Then put it in a sandwich box and store in the freezer. 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 again adding the Chocolate Chips when nearly set.

I made some little tuile biscuits to go with the Ice Cream. (recipe below) The orange in them complimented the pine and chocolate nicely. A pine syrup would be good as well… Let us know if you come up with other good combinations.

Gluten Free Almond and Orange Tuiles

  • 50g Ground Almonds
  • 30g Potato flour (or plain flour)
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 70g butter melted
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon orange or lemon zest

Preheat oven to 170 degrees C. Line 2 heavy baking sheets with baking parchment.In a bowl mix together ground almonds, potato flour, sugar and salt then whisk in the egg whites, butter, zest, and vanilla extract until combined well. Drop rounded teaspoons or batter about 10cm apart onto baking sheet and with back of a spoon spread into 7cm ovals. Try to keep these distances – if you let the tuiles get too close, they’ll morph into one giant slab. This is fine, but it won’t look as nice when cut into squares. Bake for 8 minutes, or until golden on the edges.

Working quickly, remove the tuiles, from the baking sheet with a thin spatula and rest over a rolling pin to make then curl. If you want flat tuiles transfer them straight on to a cooling rack.

Continue until the remaining batter is used up. You can re-use the baking parchment until it becomes damp and wobbly, then replace. When the tuiles are completely cool store in an airtight container. They can be made 2 days ahead and kept in an airtight container.

Wild chicken pie!!!

 What a find, three different summer fungi in as many days: Chicken of the woods, Dryads saddle, and St chicken of the woodsGeorge’s mushrooms. We are really lucky to have found them all, and in perfect condition to eat. Below is a recipe using all three, I’ve called it wild chicken pie because the chicken of the woods fungi has a flavour and texture similar to chicken breast. There are also very nice photos from our wild food foraging day course on Saturday 18th May 2013 …we braved the rain!

The warm weather we had a couple of weeks ago has been followed by recent cold nights and rain, this has brought out the fungi. Chicken of the woods or Sulphur polypore is a bracket fungi which usually grows on rotting oak stumps. It can also be found on living trees including oak, chestnut and beech. It is easy to identify by its tiered golden brackets, the underneath of which are sulphur yellow. Although Chicken of the woods is commonly eaten a small minority of people do experience nausea and dizziness after eating it so we advise you to be cautious.

summer fungi and wild garlicThe Dryad’s Saddle often grows on large logs and the stumps of broadleaf trees, particularly sycamore, horse chestnut, beech and ash. The story goes that Dryad’s are little woodland elves and this fungus is the one they use to saddle their mythical horses. This bracket fungus can only be eaten when it is young and soft, by the time it is large and flat it not only looks like a saddle it has the same texture! Look up this fungi in a book you should find it an easy one to identify. With distinctive brown scales on a light brown upper side and creamy white pores underneath.

St George’s mushroom is named after St George’s day when it is meant to be found. Although these mushrooms are usually a week or two after the event they are really quite late this year. It grows in grass often on calcareous soil. It has densely packed white gills under a creamy cap, the stem is also white and it does not have a ring. I could go into great detail but if you are a novice then you should really learn more about fungi before risking a positive identification. There is a similar poisonous mushroom with a brown spore print. The spore print for St George’s mushroom is white.

The fungi courses at our own wood are all full, but we are looking at more locations. We will announce new fungi course dates through our facebook site but if you prefer please email us at info@tastethewild.co.uk and will let you know when new courses are available.

Wild chicken pie – serves 4

  • 1 small onion, skinned and chopped small
  • 125g butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g wild garlic, stalks and leaves chopped separately
  • 275g Chicken of the woods, torn into strips
  • 175g Dryads saddle, sliced into bite size pieces
  • 100g St Georges mushrooms, halved and sliced
  • 250ml double cream
  • 100-200ml milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 200g readymade puff pastry
  • 1 egg

Saute the onion in a good knob of butter for 2-3 minutes until soft but not coloured, add the chopped wild garlic stalks to the pan, cook for another minute then set aside. Now fry each of the wild mushroom types separately in butter with a little oil added (this stops the butter from burning) You need to fry on a high heat to seal the mushroom pieces and get a little colour on to them. They will take about 3-4 minutes for each type and probably use up all the butter in your ingredients list!

Don’t be tempted to put them all in together as cooking times may vary.fungi and garlic in pan

Now put the fried onion and garlic and all the mushrooms back into the pan, add the cream, half of the milk, the chopped wild garlic leaves and salt and pepper to taste, stir well and cook for a couple of minutes. Add more milk and seasoning if necessary to achieve a nice consistency and flavour to the sauce. Pour in to a suitable pie dish and leave to cool.

Pre heat the oven to 190 degrees C – gas mark 5. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured board to 5cm larger all the way round than your pie dish. Cut a strip from the outside edge of the pastry, moisten the rim of the pie dish and stick the strip to the rim. Moisten the pastry on the rim and then lay the remaining pastry over the whole pie to form the lid. Trim off any excess and brush with beaten egg. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the pastry is cooked. Serve hot with steamed vegetables.

'wild chicken pie'

wild food foraging day course on Saturday 18th May 2013