Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Baklava Ice Cream

I made this because I bought filo pastry to make Spanakopita that I craved so much. Didn't know what to do with the very little leftover filo and didn't want them to dry up in the fridge. Didn't wanna make baklava because the are always too sweet to my liking. It strikes across me about eating cool and creamy baklava. Yes, an ice cream with the spirit of baklava!

I look up some ice cream books and flip Tessa Kiros collection as usual. I'm sure she has something for me, as always. Tessa Kiros has a very good milk, honey and cinnamon ice cream in her Falling Cloudberries. Iced: 180 very cool concoctions has a baklava ice cream in it. I mix both the recipe and add in what I like and came up with this and they are so so good.

The sweetness is just right for me, feel free to add more sugar. Remember, you can add more sugar if it's not sweet but salt can't fix an overly sweet custard, unless you thin it down with more milk. Also remember you will be drizzling more honey and dusting icing sugar upon serving. The ice cream never freeze completely due to the honey content. Feel free to reduce it and top up with more sugar instead but I love how creamy the honey makes it!

Baklava Ice Cream
(Makes approximately 5 cups and serves 6-8 people)

1.5 cups milk (approximate including the good splash when my custard was too thick)
1 cup plus 3/4 cup thickened cream
1/4 cup honey (If you add too much, your ice cream will never completely solidify, instead it will be creamy, depending on your choice of honey)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
One dried mandarin orange peel
Pinch of salt

2 tbsp castor sugar
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup pistachios, toasted and chopped
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
6-8 sheets of filo pastry
Melted butter
Icing sugar for dusting

Put the milk, cream, honey, cinnamon, orange zest and salt in a saucepan and cook over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for a few minutes, or until everything is combined and the mixture is just about to boil. Remove from the heat.

Whisk the egg yolks with the 2 tbsp sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture, whisking as you pour it in. Whisk until smooth and repeat. When the temperature is about the same, pour everything back into the saucepan and stir constantly over medium-low heat for 8-10 mins. If you're brave and daring and crazy like me, crank up the heat to high and whisk nonstop like mad. You can stop when they mixture coats he back of the spoon but I overdo mine and it was thick. Very thick I can eat it with a spoon, drizzled over figs. Yummy! I thin it down with more milk later. Just a generous splash or two, I didn't measure.

Cool them over ice bath and refrigerate them until very cold, preferably overnight. Remove the orange zest. Transfer to an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer's instructions. Reserved some pistachios for decorations later and stir in the remaining towards the end of churning. Freeze for a few hours before scooping.

Brush a sheet of filo pastry with the butter and scrunch it up like a ball. Place it on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Repeat with the remaining filo and butter, brushing any leftover butter over the top gently. Bkae them for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.

Serve scoops of ice cream topped with filo balls, drizzled with extra honey, sprinkled with nuts and finish off with a dust of icing sugar.

Baklava ice cream! Nuts, honey, citrus and spice....dreaming of an ice infused with the spirit of baklava? It's all here, even the filo pastry.....No reason to not make it if you're a baklava lover!

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