Persian Ice Cream {Saffron + Rosewater Custard Ice Cream}…

I LOVE ice cream. So it’s only natural that I would try to make my own.

My first ice cream maker was a Hamilton Beach and it sucked big time. You can use milk straight from a cows nipple, but if your machine sucks- it’s all in vain. Hellz, I’m still mad at Hamilton Beach for all the organic milks/creams and $89 vanilla beans that were wasted. I recently found an almost new Cuisinart at Goodwill for $7.00 (whoo hoo!) and it works like a dream (for my stage of ice cream making).  Now I’m working on perfecting my vanilla and butter pecan, after that, I want to up my game. I found this recipe on Effie’s blog, The Laws of Baking  and it’ss going to be at the top of my “try next” list.

1 ½    cups (12 oz) whole milk (preferably organic)
1 ½    cups (12 oz) heavy cream (preferably organic)
¾       cup (161 grams) granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
Pinch of saffron threads, ground in a mortar and pestle
2        tablespoons rose water
3        large egg yolks (preferably, organic free-range at room temperature)
¼       cup of roughly chopped roasted, shelled pistachios (optional)

How to Use Them:PersianIceCream1Grind the saffron threads in a mortar and pestle, or rub in the palm of your hand until the threads turn into a powder.PersianIceCream2Pour the rose water into the ground saffron and set aside.PersianIceCream3Combine the milk, cream, sugar and salt in a saucepan and heat on medium-low heat.  Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon or heat resistant spatula until the sugar is dissolved.  Once the sugar is dissolved, add the saffron powder and rose water mixture and stir until combined.  Make sure that the mixture is warmed all the way through until it just reaches boiling point, but do not allow to boil.  This is the stage where you see steam beginning to rise and small bubbles form around the edge of the pan.

While the milk mixture is heating, whisk the egg yolks for approximately a minute until thoroughly whisked.  Once the milk is heated, temper the egg yolks by pouring a ladle full (approximately ¼ cup) of the milk in a slow, steady stream into the egg yolks while whisking constantly. Repeat this process 3 to 4 times until the eggs are warmed through, making certain to whisk as you are pouring the milk so you will not scramble the eggs.   PersianIceCream4Take the tempered egg mixture and very slowly add it the milk mixture in the pan, constantly stirring the entire time.PersianIceCream5Continue to cook this custard over low heat for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon.  The technique used to test this consistency is running a finger along the back of your stirring spoon.  If the custard remains on each side of the line you have created, than it is ready, yet if the part quickly runs back together, than it is still too runny and needs more cooking time.
PersianIceCream6When your custard is at the desired consistency, remove it off the heat and pour it into a glass container, passing it through a fine sieve as you are doing so.  As you can see, I am using a small tea strainer, as it’s a fine mesh and therefore able to capture any bits of egg and saffron threads that may not have dissolved completely. PersianIceCream7Allow the custard to cool completely on the counter before covering and chilling overnight preferably, or at least 6 hours.  Allow the custard proper time to chill to allow the flavors to truly marry and develop. When you are ready to make the ice cream, pour the chilled custard mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s directions.
PersianIceCream8Once the ice cream is ready, scoop it out of the canister into a frozen container and freeze.  While the ice cream is ready to serve at this point, it will be soft and melt quickly.  It is best served after it has been frozen for at least a few hours. I often freeze the container that the finished ice cream will go in so that it will be thoroughly cold and help keep the ice cream solid. PersianIceCream9Traditionally, this ice cream is served between thin, flavorless wafers that act more as a delivery system for the ice cream.  I prefer serving this ice cream sandwiched between these pistachio medallions that are perfumed with cardamom and offer a crunchiness from the pistachios and demerara sugar which add a nice textural contrast to the creaminess of the ice cream. Nooshe Jan friends!

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