Saffron and Cardamom Ice Cream
|April 8, 2012||Posted by Ashley Marie under Food, International Food, Sweets|
What a delicious treat this was. I absolutely adore how cardamom makes me feel…all warm and fuzzy and reminiscent of trips abroad. I last used it in this almond milk cake, and I quickly found out that amongst my peers, I am not the only one having sporadic trysts with the spice. It’s just darling. But wait, then I saw a small bottle of saffron given to me by a friend of my mothers, waiting to be steeped into some wonderful dish where it could leave its beautiful red indelible ink and flavor behind for me to marvel at, each time anew as if I hadn’t used it before. And then I thought to myself, saffron and cardamom? Cardamom and saffron? Could the two, who lead very different lives, come together and mesh into the most perfect flavor combination? And then I also thought, you could put just about anything into ice cream and I’d eat it just the same.
You can use green cardamom pods in this dish to infuse the cream, but if you don’t have or can’t find them (or don’t want to pay for those expensive little suckers), use ground cardamom instead. It’s slightly more intense, so tread lightly, but you’ll still get that warm flavor in the end. Adding the saffron after straining the mixture adds a nice touch because not only do you get the intense sweet and slightly grassy saffron taste (it comes from a flower, in case your wondering), but you also experience the small red threads as your eating, which for me brings an excitement synonymous with toys to a small child. Maybe it’s because I know how expensive saffron is, and I feel like I’m indulging in some exclusive product that most people don’t get to have. As if it’s Gucci or something. Anyways, I also read another blog where they added a handful of pistachios to the mix, which I must admit sounds lovely. For texture, I say go for it.
Saffron & Cardamom Ice Cream
Makes 2 quarts
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
18 ounces whole milk
1 each vanilla pod, split
4 ounces heavy cream
4-5 green cardamom pods, or 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 large pinch of saffron
1 optional handful of pistachios, or any nuts really, chopped
Using a whisk, beat the egg yolks with the sugar in a bowl until the mixture lifts from the surface in ribbons. Place the milk, pods, and the vanilla into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Slowly pour the liquid over the egg mixture while simultaneously whisking (making sure not to curdle the eggs). Return the mixture to the saucepan and heat gently to thicken until it coats the back of a spoon (just about 5 minutes), making sure to stir the entire time. Don’t heat too fiercely or you will have scrambled eggs! Strain through a sieve and gently stir in the saffron. You will see beautiful magic happening as the threads release their gorgeous red dye. If you are adding nuts, give them a chopping and stir them in with the saffron. Whisk in the heavy cream and let cool in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
Add the mixture to the machine and spin according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep tightly sealed in the freezer.