Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Persian Ice Cream

What makes this Persian, you are asking?  For one, I am using real Persian saffron that our Iranian friend brought back for me recently.  I wish you could smell it, my friends.  It is pungent and spicy and gorgeous.  And so very very red.  For another, this ice cream uses typical Persian flavours like the saffron, plus rosewater and pistachios.  

I've based this recipe on the French Vanilla Ice Cream (from Georgia O'Keeffe's book) that I made not that long ago.  As it is so luscious and smooth, I knew it would be a great starting point.  And it was!  The flavours melded together really well, and the smooth texture was very satisfying and delicious.  Add on a crisp pistachio biscuit for texture, and you have a delicious little treat.  

smooth, creamy and fragrant

Makes just over 1 Litre:


2 large eggs, separated

1/4 cup of honey

1 cup (250 mLs) thickened cream

1 cup (250 mLs) condensed milk

2 tsp vanilla extract or paste

2-3 tsp rosewater

1/2 tsp saffron threads softened in a few teaspoons of the cream

50g. pistachios chopped finely - 35g. go into the ice cream, and 15g. to sprinkle on top

organic dried rosebuds to scatter over the top (optional)

Serve with pistachio biscotti


Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl until thick and luscious

Gradually beat in the honey till even more thick, luscious and voluminous 

Now add the cream, condensed milk, vanilla, rosewater and saffron to the bowl

Beat till just combined

Stir in the chopped pistachios

Pour the mixture into a baking tray and place in the freezer till partially firm - this takes about an hour

Put a large bowl in the freezer at the same time to chill 

After an hour or so, whip the egg whites in your supremely, superbly clean bowl (with ultra-clean beaters) till stiff peaks form

Now take out the tray and place the eggy, freezy mixture into the chilled bowl

Spoon in the egg whites, and give it all a good turn with a large, metal spoon

Then grab the electric beaters and give it a good whizz till combined - but go at it like a Buddhist monk, not a Sumo wrestler

Pour the shiny, smooth mixture into an ice cream container with a lid

Into the freezer it goes till nicely frozen

Serve with the extra chopped pistachios sprinkled over the fragrant ice cream (and the rosebuds if using)

gather your ingredients

whizz the egg yolks and honey

soften the saffron in a bit of the cream

fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites

pour into your ice cream container

ready for the freezer

serve with some pistachio biscotti

Our friends Lord N. and Lady J. of the Rocks came over for dinner the other night.  Having recently been to Iran, (and having discovered a Persian grocer nearby) they were very keen on all things Persian/Iranian.  So I endeavoured to make them something a wee bit Persian-inspired.  Et voilà, here we have my version of this sweet treat.  

           my saffron crocus doodle


  1. I love all of these gorgeous flavours, especially saffron and rose! :D Lucky this makes a lot (serves one I suspect ;)).

    1. thanks lorraine. yes i adore saffron and rose flavours. i do believe a person could sit down with the tub and just spoon it all up:) cheers S x

  2. Saffron is wonderful stuff, isn't it? And this ice cream looks superb! Thanks so much.

  3. Oh my! How wonderful to have real and fresh saffron! This recipe is lucious, it reminds me a little of Indian kulfi, which is so decadent.

    1. Hi Mimi
      Thanks for dropping by. It is rather like kulfi isn’t it? Very delicious too. Cheers S

  4. Wow, this looks amazing. This is going on my to try list for sure.

    1. that's wonderful GGE:) It is a lovely treat. cheers S


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