THESE BRIGHT, TANGY HARBINGERS OF SPRING MAKE A ZINGY SORBET WITH MORE THAN ITS SHARE OF IMMUNITY-BOOSTING VITAMIN C
The bright green tufts on Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) trees are some of the first signs of spring. The new growth is soft and lime green in color and packed with Vitamin C. The flavor is a balance of citrus peel and foresty goodness.
It can be made into a calming tea by steeping tips in boiled water for ten minutes. Fir tip syrup makes an excellent cocktail mixer: simmer and reduce three cups water, half cup sugar and handful of fir tips by half and strain into a bottle. Or try this fun and different spring time treat, Fir Tip Sorbet. Remember when harvesting that you are in effect pruning the tree so select tips from alternating branches, not all in one place. You can be daring and nibble a fir tip in the field. The taste should be a bright glimpse of spring.
DOUGLAS FIR TIP SORBET
3 cups water
1 cup sugar
3 cups rinsed fresh fir tips
1 tsp fresh lime zest
three or four fresh mint leaves
2 tsp lime juice
bright fir tips or dark chocolate curls for garnish
Bring water, sugar and fir tips to a boil. Cover, turn off heat and steep for 20 minutes. Add lime zest and mint and steep for 10 more minutes. Remove solids using a fine mesh strainer. Reserve the liquid, stir in lime juice and let cool. Pour syrup into a rimmed baking sheet or ice cream maker. Freeze, stirring ice crystals with a spatula every hour until it reaches desired consistency. Scoop into bowls and garnish with a couple of fresh fir tips or shaved dark chocolate.