I would like to make honeysuckle ice cream (or some other honeysuckle flavored food item).

What is the best way to extract the flavor from just picked honeysuckle flowers?

There seems to be no consensus among the various internet recipes I've found. All suggest something like "add boiling water and soak" or "bring to boil then let cool", possibly followed by letting sit in the refrigerator over night. I tired one version of these last year to no avail (no honeysuckle flavor). Honeysuckle has flowers now and won't one week from now, so there's scant time to experiment.

One last question: how do I know when is the best time to collect the flowers? I've heard morning is best, but I notice the flowers are often very fragrant also in the late evening. I guess after rain is not good (that may have been my mistake last time, actually).

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    When I was a kid, we'd pull out the stamen and lick the drop of nectar that would collect in the back of the flower. You might be better off trying to just use that, rather than the flower as a whole. – Joe May 23 '19 at 13:33
  • Quite a while ago Alton Brown showed us how to make rose water from rose petals. Do a search for that, it may be online. I imagine that method might work for honeysuckle flowers as well. Maybe. – Steve Chambers May 23 '19 at 13:51
  • I wonder if packing the flowers in sugar would work better than steeping? Have not tried, but works for some other things. – Ecnerwal May 28 '19 at 18:48

The proportions will be key. In your case you probably need to use the minimum amount of water to cover the petals; you can always dilute later, though for making ice cream you presumably wouldn't dilute with water. In fact you may try steeping directly in the liquid you plan to use.

You need a lot of flowers. Recipes for honeysuckle wine ( for comparison) vary widely: One steeps 6 cups of unwashed flowers in a gallon of hot sweet water for an hour, but another brews on 2 pints of washed flowers for 4 days (note regarding quantities: the former is American, the latter British). Neither says whether that volume of flowers is packed; I suspect not. Both also include raisins, common in country wines to make them a little richer.

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