I have been putting off attempting chef Bill Smith's honeysuckle sorbet ever since I saw the recipe in his book, "Seasoned in the South," several years ago. Even though the instructions are simple, I was convinced that there was some special magic to it; that even my best efforts would fall flat. I was wrong. It's really rather simple. And you should try before all the honeysuckle blossoms are gone. I'll share the recipe below. Or get to Crook's Corner before the honeysuckle blossoms falter, and you can order some there. And if you missed my recent story about Crook's Corner winning The America's Classics award from the James Beard Foundation, go HERE to read it.
Smith's only word of advice: make sure there is no green leaves in the mix or it will taint your syrup. (I have a photo below showing how much honeysuckle I picked. My only advice: only pick the blossoms that taste good.)
Crook's Corner Honeysuckle Sorbet
4 cups, tightly packed but not smashed honeysuckle flowers, leaves and stems discarded
5 1/3 cups cool water
1 1/3 cups water
2 cups sugar
Few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Speck of cinnamon
PLACE blossoms in a nonreactive bowl, glass or stainless steel, and cover with cool water. Weigh down with a plate. Let them stand on the counter overnight.
MAKE a syrup out of sugar and water: boil together in a small saucepan until all the sugar is dissolved and it begins to look lustrous and slightly thick, 3 to 5 minutes. Add lemon juice to prevent sugar from recystallizzing. Cool syrup completely. Strain honeysuckle infusion, gently pressing the blossoms so as not to waste any of your efforts. Combine the two liquids and add the merest dusting of cinnamon. Churn in an ice cream maker, per instructions. This does not keep for more than a week or two.
Yield: 2 quarts
I don't think this took me more than 20 minutes to pick.