Monday, April 14, 2014

Recipe: Saffron Icecream

The second part of the dessert is the saffron icecream. Saffron has this mistakenly exotic fragrance, either you like it or hate it, and while it's originally in bright red color, it will turned into a golden yellow color when it's soaked in water (or any liquid you happen to cook with). That's why it's often used as dye for cloth in ancient times as well.

When you start looking for it in the gourmet food store, you will realize how expensive saffron is - well they were known as the most valuable spice for a reason and often compared to gold in terms of price, but don't settle for anything other than the dried stigma threads even if powder or extract were much cheaper. Chances are they were knock-offs and mixed in with some chemicals without any actual saffron inside.

(This formed part of the dessert I created - for the complete recipe, please refer to this post)

Ingredients (yields approx 3/4 quart, or 6-8 generous servings)

1 cup of whipping cream
1 cup of whole milk
1 teaspoon of saffron
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup of sugar


1. Use pestle and mortar to grind saffron into fine powder.
2. Put cream and milk into a saucepan, gently heat over the stove until just before it starts to boil.
3. In the meantime, whip egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until they were completely mixed. Slowly pour cream and milk mixture into the large bowl while whisking constantly.  Add in the well-grinded saffron strands into the warm custard mix and leave cool for about 5 minutes to give time for the color and flavor to infuse.
4. Return the custard into the saucepan, and gently "steep" the mixture while continue to stir with a wooden spatula, until it's slightly thickened (it's ready when the custard began to stick on the back of the spatula)
5. Remove the thickened custard from the heat, strain, let cool and then chill the custard in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. Pre-freeze your icecream canister if needed.
6. Give the custard another stir to make sure all ingredients were well mixed. Churn the custard in the icecream maker as per manufacturer's instruction and freeze the finished product in the fridge until set (in about 8 hours).

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