Ground Ivy, Glechoma hederacea, sometimes called Alehoof is one of my favourite wild aromatic herbs and we use it in a wide range of savoury dishes.
This recipe is a bit of a change and uses it in a dessert. A delicately scented herb icecream served with candied purple Ground ivy flowers and a couple of crunchy extras.
Ground Ivy icecream
- 4 sprigs of Ground Ivy
- 250ml milk
- 2 egg yolks
- 150g caster sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 250ml double cream
Pour the milk into a saucepan and heat gently to just below simmering point. Put the sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the egg yolks and beat until well blended. Check the milk is just below a simmer and add the ground ivy sprigs, stir and remove from the heat. Allow the herb to infuse for 1 minute then return the pan to the heat.. When the milk is very close to boiling pour it through a sieve onto the egg and sugar mix, whisk it quickly to combine the ingredients. Now add the cream and stir. Cover the bowl and chill in the fridge.
If you have an icecream maker churn this mixture per the manufacturers instructions.
You can make the ice cream without an ice cream maker (it will not be quite as smooth but just as tastey) by freezing the liquid ice cream in a freezer proof box for 1 hour then whisking it. Continue freezing and whisking the mix hourly until you are happy with the consistency.
Serve with crushed pistachios, candied Ground ivy flowers and vanilla tuille.
- Ground ivy flowers
- 1 egg white
- 1 tblsp cold water
- caster sugar
Mix the egg white and water thoroughly and the paint a thin layer on to each flower. Toss the flowers in caster sugar and lay them on baking parchment. Dry them in an airing cupboard or similar warm place. When they are completely dry you can store the flowers in an airtight container for a couple of weeks.
- 1 large egg white
- 60g caster sugar
- 30g plain flour
- 30g butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Set the oven to 180°C/ 356°F/Gas Mark 4
Put the egg white in a medium bowl. Whisk it lightly with a fork, then whisk in the sugar to a froth. Sift in the flour and mix in the melted butter and vanilla extract.
Next drop teaspoons of the mixture evenly spaced out on the lined tray, then using a small palette knife spread the mixture thinly and evenly into ovals about 7cm long. Bake for 9-10 mins.
Cool and store in an airtight tin.
Ground Ivy Glechoma hederacea
A native perennial height to 40cm. As the name suggests it creeps along the ground and can form mats. The leaves are approximately 2 – 3cm across and are the shape of a horses hoof print with a scalloped edge. Ground Ivy has a square stem – it is a member of the mint family. When it flowers the stems grow upright and it bears purple flowers. They are similar to those of a violet but with a larger lower petal. There are often purple tints to the leaves and stalks especially near the flowers. The strong aromatic smell is the most distinctive characteristic of this plant.