Saffron Ice Cream By Najmieh Batmanglij

4 servings.

Crunchy Frozen Heavy Cream
1 cup heavy cream

Ice Cream:
4 tablespoons sahlab mixture (use Cortas brand)
4 cups whole milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground saffron threads, dissolved in 2 tablespoons rose water
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
1/2 teaspoon mastic ground with
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup pistachios kernels

8 ice cream wafers, (3 inch, round)


Pour the cream into a 9-inch freezer-proof pie dish and place in the freezer. In a small bowl, dissolve the sahlab in 1 cup milk until quite smooth. Set aside. To make the ice cream: In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups milk and the sugar to boil, and reduce heat to very low. Add the sahlab mixture, salt, saffron-rose water, and mastic, and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking constantly, for 10 to 20 minutes until thick enough for the mixture to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and allow to cool then chill in refrigerator. Pour into a chilled ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for making ice cream (in my machine it takes about 1 hour 40 minutes). Remove the cream from the freezer. Unmold it from the pan and break it into 1/4-inch pieces. Add it to the ice cream in the machine. Add the pistachios and continue to turn in the machine for another 20 seconds. Pour the ice cream into a freezer-proof glass container with a press-in-place lid. Cover tightly (uncovered ice cream develops an unpleasant taste). Freeze the ice cream for at least 1 hour to allow it to develop texture and flavor. Twenty minutes before serving, remove the ice cream from the freezer and refrigerate. Serve by placing 3 scoops of ice cream into individual glass containers or use 2 wafers to make an ice cream sandwich.

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!