When life gives you dandelions, make dandelion ice cream! If you are looking for the perfect spring recipe to wow your friends and family, this simple, homemade dandelion ice cream recipe is just the thing!
When life gives you dandelions…
Last spring, when the dandelions began blooming in full force, one of our kids’ favorite activities was to pick bouquets full of these yellow flowers and then present them to me proudly. That sparked an idea. Why not turn those yellow flowers into something delicious? I knew that dandelion flowers were naturally sweet and almost honey like in taste. So I thought, why not add them into our homemade ice cream?
This dandelion ice cream experiment quickly became a family favorite. Not only did it taste great, it was a fun activity that everyone could be a part of. I simply tweaked our well-loved vanilla ice cream and turned it into this arguably superior creamy, yellow treat.
How to Make Ice Cream
Growing up, I had a daily ritual of eating a bowl of ice cream every night before bed. The idea that you could actually make homemade ice cream never crossed my mind. My love for ice cream continues and was well known by my family and friends. When Jim and I got married, one of my good friends gifted us our very own ice cream maker.
My curiosity was piqued and our adventure into the world of homemade ice cream making began.
Making ice cream from scratch is actually very easy and only requires a few basic ingredients. Namely cream/milk, a sweetener, egg yolks, salt, and any flavoring. You will find that everyone has their own unique twists to make the perfect ice cream. But simply by blending these basic ingredients up and pouring them into the frozen bowl of an ice cream maker will result in creamy, delicious ice cream.
Do You Need to Temper the Egg Yolks?
One common step in most homemade ice cream recipes is to temper the egg yolks. This is a process of cooking egg yolks in heated up milk or cream so they are cooked yet remain creamy and don’t turn into an unpleasant scrambled egg mess. No one wants that in their ice cream.
Personally, I skip this step when we make ice cream and prefer to just mix in the egg yolks raw. Because we raise our own chickens, I feel very comfortable with the source of our eggs and trust them to be healthy. Plus, there are additional benefits that you get in raw yolks that are lost in the cooking process.
However, if you feel more comfortable tempering your egg yolks, just add this step in and chill your tempered mixture before blending it with the rest of your ingredients and pouring into the ice cream maker.
How to Harvest and Prepare Dandelions
Our preferred method for doing this is to grab a bucket and fill it with the plucked off flowers from the dandelion stems. After you have filled your bucket to your liking, you have to pull off the bottom green casing from the flower. This green part will be quite bitter and not something you want in your ice cream. You may notice some white milky or fuzz like part of the flower. If that gets mixed in with the flowers, that’s totally fine.
This process does take some time so it is a great one to invite your kids or a friend into, turn on the music, and have a dandelion flower separating party.
The Best Sweetener for Dandelion Ice Cream
You have options here. My preference and what I have included in the recipe is to sweeten the ice cream with honey. Dandelion flowers have a natural honey like taste and honey compliments them perfectly. Alternatively, you could use maple syrup or a combination of maple syrup and honey. Or plain old white granulated sugar works fine too.
Cream vs Half and Half vs Milk
My favorite proportion is to use 2 cups of cream with 1 cup of whole milk. However, there is room for some flexibility here. Mainly, you want to make sure you have enough cream to give your ice cream its signature creamy texture. If you want it even creamier you could use all cream or a mixture of half and half and cream.
Can Dandelion Ice Cream Be Made Dairy Free?
While I haven’t personally tried making this specific ice cream dairy free, I have had great success making my vanilla ice cream dairy free by substituting the milk and cream for one can of full fat coconut milk.
Do I need to Have an Ice Cream Maker?
While I have heard of alternative options for making ice cream that may work very well, I only have experience making it with this ice cream maker. In our opinion, a basic ice cream maker is worth the cost and makes the process extremely easy. But, if you have had success using another method, I’d love to hear about it!
Keep Everything Cold
Before adding your ingredients to your ice cream maker, you want to make sure they are fully chilled. Especially if you choose to heat your cream/milk and temper the egg yolks, you want to cool everything thoroughly before using it. Adding cold ingredients verses warm or even room temperature will produce a better end result.
Dandelion Ice Cream Recipe
2 cups cream
1 cup whole milk
4 egg yolks
1 cup dandelion flowers (just the yellow part! The green is quite bitter)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp arrowroot powder or tapioca starch (optional but I think it helps with the texture)
1. Add all ingredients to the container of a blender.
2. Blend until well mixed.
3. Pour into the frozen container of an ice cream maker.
4. Let churn in ice cream maker for 25-30 minutes until creamy ice cream is formed.
5. Store in freezer for a couple of hours before serving.
Looking for other ways to use those dandelion flowers? Try serving this dandelion ice cream alongside our dandelion cake – another family favorite!
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May 15, 2022
- 2 cups cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 cup dandelion flowers (just the yellow part! The green is quite bitter)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 tsp salt 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder or tapioca starch (optional but I think it helps with the texture)
- Add all ingredients to the container of a blender.
- Blend until well mixed.
- Pour into the frozen container of an ice cream maker.
- Let churn in ice cream maker for 25-30 minutes until creamy ice cream is formed.
- Store in freezer for a couple of hours before serving.