Sweet Woodruff Ice Cream

Often used to make May Wine, sweet woodruff gives a lovely herbaceous flavor to ice cream. It is a shade-loving plant that requires little care and makes a wonderful bedding plant. You’ll need an ice cream maker for this dessert.

Makes 8 servings

  • 20 small or 10 large stems (⅓ ounce) freshly cut sweet woodruff
  • 1 quart of half and half, divided
  • 3 large eggs, well beaten
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Ice cream maker

Rinse and dry sweet woodruff. Remove leaves from stems and spread them on a large plate. Let dry and wilt for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

Place 2 cups of half and half in a saucepan and add the leaves. Slowly heat it until it starts to barely simmer. Cover, remove from heat, and let steep for 1 hour. Strain the milk through a fine sieve into a double boiler and discard leaves. Add eggs and sugar, stirring constantly 10–15 minutes, or until the mixture thickens and coats a spoon. Stir in remaining half and half and heavy cream. Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid, and place a layer of waxed paper on the surface. Chill overnight. Process according to the ice cream maker’s directions.