How to Make Homemade Saffron & Pistachio Ice Cream
Middle Eastern ice cream is one of my guiltiest of pleasures. When visiting my local ethnic grocery store, it is seriously impossible for me to resist coming home with a saffron and pistachio ice cream sandwich. (Saffron with yogurt chips is also a popular Middle Eastern ice cream flavor!)
The authentic version of this recipe requires sahlab (a rare flour derived from orchids) and Arabic gum, which both don't really have a substitute and are generally hard to find if you don't live next to a Middle Eastern market. With that being said, I've decided to spare you all with a simpler recipe that tastes just as delicious!
(Also, this recipe totally goes out to @caricakes because she might be the only person who likes Middle Eastern ice cream as much as I do!)
Saffron & Pistachio Ice Cream
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
4 whole large egg yolks
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup shelled pistachio meat
1. Combine milk, cream, and saffron in a small saucepan. Bring to mixture just to a rolling boil. Remove from the heat and allow to sit, covered, for at least one hour (or alternatively, overnight in the fridge).
2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until well combined. Meanwhile, bring milk/cream mixture back to a boil.
3. Add the saffron milk/cream mixture slowly into the eggs, whisking constantly with one hand, to temper.
4. Place this mixture into a medium saucepan and cook the mixture over low heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, until it reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit. The mixture should leave a nice thin coating on the back of a spoon.
5. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a shallow, wide heatproof bowl, preferably over an ice bath Stir in the ground cardamom and cool completely.
6. Freeze the mixture in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturers directions.
7. In the last few minutes or so of churning, when the ice cream is almost finished, add the pistachios.
8. Store in an ice cream container or other container (covering surface with plastic wrap)--and allow to freeze for an additional 4-6 hours to firm up a bit before serving.