Australian bush spices are a growing food trend with exciting flavours like lemon myrtle and wattle seed becoming more readily available in stores.
Cinnamon myrtle is part of a group of related Myrtaceae family members that were popularized as spices in Australian bushfood cuisine in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This group of plants also includes lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) and aniseed myrtle (Syzygium anisatum). Source.
Some facts about cinnamon myrtle
Cinnamon Myrtle is another member of the Myrtaceae family which lemon myrtle is a part of. The glossy green leaves are rich in oil and timber, which is very strong, was used traditionally by the Aboriginal culture for tools and weapons.
This tree is found in the sub-tropical rainforests of north New South Wales and Queensland. Cinnamon myrtle flowers are cream in colour and have pink tipped stamens.
Medical uses for cinnamon myrtle
- treat upset stomachs
- relieved symptoms of colds
- natural insect repellant
- soothes heartburn and digestive problems
- antiseptic/anti inflammatory properties
What does cinnamon myrtle taste like?
It is popular among culinary circles for the flavour it imparts. The aroma and flavour is similar to cinnamon, with the slightly unusual bubblegum flavour intertwined. If you love cinnamon sprinkled on toast or a grapefruit for breakfast, cinnamon myrtle will work just as well.
You can use the whole leaf as you would use a bayleaf in a savoury casserole. You can also but cinnamon myrtle in a ground up form which is great for biscuits. I wanted to make cinnamon myrtle ice cream and luckily I recently visited a food expo here in Melbourne and received a sample of the spice ready to use. You can find a range of these spices in specialty food stores or online.
How is cinnamon myrtle sold?
If you can source fresh leaves this is a great option; however, many stores will sell the spice as a fine powder or as ground leaves.
If you enjoy spiced ice cream then you might also consider this turmeric ice cream which is something a little different.
Cinnamon Myrtle Ice Cream
- 6 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups thickened cream
- 1 cup full cream milk
- 2 Tbsp cinnamon myrtle 15 leaves
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl until pale in colour then set aside.
- Heat milk and cream in a large saucepan until simmering then remove from heat.
- Slowly pour a cup of the milk into the yolks while whisking as quickly as possible. Then pour yolks back into the saucepan of milk.
- Add cinnamon myrtle and salt then continue heating the cream until it begins to thicken then remove from heat. The liquid should coat the back of a spoon.
- Add the ice cream mixture to an airtight container and chill for at least 2 hours.
- Strain ice cream base and then churn ice cream in your ice cream machine. Scoop ice cream into an airtight container and allow to harden in the freezer for 2-3 hours.