Foraging Dinner at PA’s Awbury Arbouretum: Young birch sorbet

Last year, Jill and I attended a dinner in Germantown just outside Philadelphia at the historic Awbury Arboretum.  We did a foraging walk and learned about a few wild edibles you can consume.  The best part was the dinner they made out of all foraged greens!  They shared a few of the recipes on and I got permission to share them with you here.  This is the foraged young birch sorbet from, a division of Jeffrey A. Miller Catering:

Young Birch Sorbet

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Recipe by: Patrick Jaszewski
Category: Dessert and candy, On the road, Recipes


  • 1 quart young birch and sassafras branches
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • Water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 quart local berries
  • Mexican licorice (or fresh mint, if you can't forage licorice)


  1. Chop branches coarsely with a cleaver, sharp heavy knife, or small ax.
  2. Simmer branches with vanilla bean in cold water to cover for 30 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Strain out branches, and add 2 cups of the liquid to the sugar, and heat until sugar dissolves.
  4. Put birch mixture and lemon juice into an ice cream maker, and follow manufacturer's instructions to make sorbet.
  5. Serve sorbet on a bed of berries sprinkled with minced licorice greens or mint.

Patrick Jaszewski

Culinary Tyrannosaurus, passport stamp collector, home cook, pilot, strength enthusiast, bilingual, coffee roaster, recovering homebrewer. Committed to DIY ethic. Minnesota native transplanted in Pennsylvania. Thunderbird MBA Alumni and Golden Gopher. Undyingly positive and open minded. Drives Jill crazy by questioning everything.

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