Bill Smith has served as chef at Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for more than a decade. His essays have been featured in newspapers and on radio and television, and his recipes have been selected for 150 Best American Recipes and Food & Wine magazine’s “Best of the Best.” He’s best known for putting a fresh twist on classic Southern dishes. Whether it’s shrimp and grits, collard greens, or lemon pie, he’s making it right–and making it better.
Today, we have a video of Smith as he forages for honeysuckle for one of his signature desserts: Honeysuckle Sorbet.
Makes about 2 quarts
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 the flowers in a nonreactive container (glass or stainless steel) and cover with the cool water. Weight down with a plate. Let stand on the counter overnight.
In a small saucepan, make a syrup out of the sugar and the water by boiling it until all the sugar is dissolved and it begins to look lustrous and slightly thick, 3-5 minutes. Add a few drops of lemon juice to prevent the sugar from recrystallizing. Cool the syrup completely. Strain the honeysuckle infusion, gently pressing the blossoms so as not to waste any of your previous efforts. Combine the two liquids and add the merest dusting of cinnamon. You don’t want to taste it, but you can tell if it’s not there. I use the tip of a sharp boning knife to measure it. Churn in an ice-cream maker. This does not keep for more than a week or two.