keito potato

Syrian Pistachio Ice Cream
April 1, 2012, 3:00 pm
Filed under: desserts, recipes | Tags: ,

I remember eating vanilla ice cream topped with pistachios in Damascus, in an old ice cream parlor with high ceilings and tiled walls near the Umayyad Mosque.  This pistachio ice cream recipe also comes from Syria, but has ground pistachios in the ice cream itself, instead of a topping.  Creme fraiche adds a touch of freshness and tanginess in the ice cream, instead of plain milk and cream.  You can find creme fraiche in most grocery dairy cases, even TJ’s.

I’ve adapted the recipe from Anissa Helou’s book Mediterranean Street Food, but have made two changes.   I have omitted the rose syrup because I think it tastes like cheap perfume.  I’ve also substituted brown sugar instead of white sugar for a deeper flavor.  I had a fantastic toasted-almond-brown-sugar ice cream in Jounieh, Lebanon that inspired me to pair pistachios with brown sugar as well.



2   3/4 cups whole milk

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup pistachios (peeled if you have the patience)

1  1/2 cups creme fraiche



Heat the milk and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat.  Let cool.

Peel the pistachios.  Put the pistachios in a food processor and process until ground medium-fine.  Add the nuts and the creme fraiche to the milk mixture.  Stir to incorporate.  Pour into a tupperware container to chill fully.  Use an ice cream maker to finish, and follow the ice cream maker instructions.  

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can still make this.  Freeze the mixture completely in a tupperware container.  Pull it out of the freezer and use a large knife to chop the block into 1-inch squares.  Put the squares in a food processor or blender to break up the ice crystals.  Return to the tupperware to let it set.

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