Miriam Olenick is an avid ice cream producer. On her weekly column, you can find all sorts of recipes for delicious, frozen treats. Find more recipes on her own blog www.scoopdujour.net.

Orange Blossom-Cardamom Ice Cream…or, Orange you glad…that I’m not going to make any more orange jokes?

This summer I bought a bottle of orange flower water to use in a Syrian almond cookie recipe. It was an exciting purchase…that I never used again.

Orange flower water, made from orange blossoms, smells and tastes a little bit like perfume – similar to rose water, a standard flavor in Turkish delight. It is used in Middle Eastern and other Mediterranean desserts, like baklava, which I love but have never made. I assumed that because I love Middle Eastern food, I would use orange flower water to cook delicious Middle Eastern desserts all the time, and be the newest balaboosta in town.

Not so. That orange flower water has been sitting sadly in my kitchen cabinet for months, until I finally decided enough was enough. No fragrant distillation deserves to be treated that way.

So I made this:

Orange-Blossom and Cardamom Ice Cream with Honey-Blueberry Sauce

Ice Cream: 


  1. 3 cups heavy cream
  2. 1 ½ cup milk
  3. 1 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1 ½ teaspoons orange flower water
  5. 2 teaspoons ground cardamom


  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a metal bowl.
  2. Chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.
  3. Pour mixture into ice cream maker; turn on.
  4. Turn off after 25-30 minutes.
  5. Freeze ice cream for 3 or more hours before serving.


Honey-Blueberry Sauce:


  1. 2/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  2. 3-4 tablespoons honey
  3. a few tablespoons water


  1. Pour all the ingredients into a small saucepan, turn on medium heat.
  2. Stir until the honey has dissolved, most of the blueberries have burst, and the mixture is syrupy.

I made this sauce up as I went along, so I’m not certain about the proportions of honey-blueberry. But as my roommate Hannah said, “As long as you don’t burn it, it will be either fine or awesome.” And it was pretty great. So there you go.


If you’re dying to make something with orange flower water, you can find it Middle Eastern/Mediterranean or other specialty food stores, or on Amazon. I got mine at Fairway (http://www.fairwaymarket.com/stores/), which has several branches in New York City and New Jersey. Sometimes searching for a hard to find ingredient can actually to take you to some surprising and interesting places…so enjoy!

- Miriam Olenick ‘13