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Christmas Tree Ice Cream?

I was thinking it would be fun and different to make Christmas tree ice cream but I'm sort of stuck on how to do it. I was thinking of grabbing a handful of needles from my tree and infusing the milk with them but I'm not sure if this is safe. Any ideas?

Also any suggestions for good pairings with Christmas tree ice cream?

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  1. That sounds inspired! I guess the safety of a handful of needles would depend what the source of your tree is.... If it's from your yard - that's one thing, a tree-lot, well, that's another.
    I once made rosemary icecream (another little needle) and was told it tasted like a Christmas Tree, in a good way. Maybe that's another possibility - but it's not pine, I suppose.
    A Christmas decoration inspired spread is intriguing (just don't go infusing mistletoe or poinsettia!)

    1. I didn't think you really meant pine flavored! Maybe to be safe, use rosemary, I think it's pretty pine flavored. You could use almonds for pine cones, which would be nice with rosemary... You could use rosemary sprigs laid in a mold to get a needle-like texure, pulling the sprigs off after it's set. Let me know how it turns out?

      1. Fresh crushed or ground pine nuts would probably provide the pine flavoring.

        1. Try using spruce beer as your liquid. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spruce_beer

          Stir in some toasted pine nuts for added flavour and texture.

          And more importantly, tell us how it goes!

          1. This reminded me on an old, old Grape Nuts commercial where Ewell Gibbons says, "many parts of a pine tree are edible". As a kid, we used to joke about that ad all the time.

            1. You could try using strega as a flavoring. It has a "coniferous" profile. You might have to add some food coloring, though, since strega is a yellowish color similar to Galliano.

              1. Did you or anyone end up doing this? I had the same idea for a pot luck dinner next week. Last year for Christmas I made eggnog ice cream which turned out pretty well but this year I figured I would try something unusual. I think I saw pine tree teas up here in Canada's Whole Food stores. I might try infusing with that. Curious if anyone made any attempts since this was posted 3 years ago or any suggestions..

                1. Once in Seattle, I had a sabayon infused with douglas fir. Don't limit yourself to pine.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: TIRGL

                    Thanks... Saw some sorbet recipes out there infused with douglas fir but they were suggested as palate cleansers. I think I will stick to an actual ice cream but I just need to figure out how to not make the flavour too overwhelming... I will only have one chance to make it otherwise if it fails bad I guess I will have to do a grocery store run to get a back up dessert to bring :)

                    1. re: ylsf

                      what about infusing the cream with juniper berries? I would think that would give the essence and be food safe...just a thought.

                      1. re: foodie_guru

                        I was going to suggest using gin, but that's the same idea!

                        1. re: foodie_guru

                          Thanks.. Good idea (and about the gin comment below too)... I kind of want to use the actual douglas fir now more for the shock value vs. the actual flavour aspect (if it doesn't taste horrible!).. I will post back and let people know the results sometime after Christmas probably. I won't be trying this until next Wednesday so any feedback in the meantime is appreciated

                    2. So I infused a custard base yesterday with some needles from a Balsam Fir tree.... I thought at the time it was a douglas fir but have since discovered it was an Balsam Fir. I know that the Douglas Fir would be non-toxic based on other recipes I read but now I am trying to get information to make sure the Balsam Fir is non-toxic. In particular I think it is an Eastern Balsam Fir. If it was just me eating it and it let to some stomach upset/etc it wouldn't be a big deal but since I am bringing it to a party I want to make 100% sure. I am going to google around a bit more but I did find reference to it being consumed (essential oils) and used for teas, so, at this point I am 90% sure it should be save but would like to be more certain.

                      Here is mention of it being used for tea:


                      and I saw other reference that the sap in the little bubbles was full of nutrients (but, tasted like crap


                      EDIT, okay, I found this and now am 99% sure it is safe to consume :)


                      So I just scooped it out of the ice cream maker and tasted some... It is pretty darn good if I say so myself. Very distinguisable flavour. I am going to probably only serve a small serving to people along with a store bought chocolate tart (wish I had more time to make one) as there will be a lot of people at the party a small taste is really all one needs (it is custard based so still pretty rich)...

                      For people that want reference on what I did, I will post more later but basically I used the Fresh Basil recipe in David Libovitz's Perfect Scoop book