We’ve arrived at the last day of Ice Cream Week and today’s theme is Original Recipe.
Though this is the last ice cream recipe I’m posting in this series, it’s actually the first one I made. When family came to visit in late June, we had the idea of making a Greek feast for the first night.
Deciding what to serve for dinner was easy, especially when my sister offered to pick up dolmas, hummus, and fresh pita from one of the Armenian groceries outside of Boston. But dessert had me a bit stumped. I wanted to make baklava, but I knew this crowd was going to be in the mood for a light dessert. I wanted something less than full-on baklava, but something more than a bowl of fruit.
When Phyl suggested Ice Cream Week, it occurred to me that I could make a baklava ice cream and serve it in tiny scoops so that guests could choose to have just a bite and still feel like they had something special.
When I didn’t find a baklava ice cream recipe that I liked (in particular, I wanted the ice cream to incorporate the delicate rose-flavored syrup of my favorite baklava recipe), I decided to create my own by combining components from other recipes to make a vanilla-cinnamon-honey base, drizzled with rose-water syrup and sprinkled with chopped walnuts.
I love how this one turned out. The ice cream has exactly the flavor and texture I was hankering for, and the tiny pre-made phyllo shells that M found at the grocery store turned the mini desserts into finger food. Just the right ending to our Greek dinner, and to Ice Cream Week. Thanks for the fun idea, Phyl!
Here’s a recap of the ice creams from the week:
And here are the original ice cream recipes that the rest of the gang has churned up:
Baklava ice cream
Makes about 1 quart
for the ice cream base
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons cream cheese
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out
3 cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup honey
for the rose syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon rose water
1 cup walnuts, chopped
mini phyllo shells (mini puff pastry shells or mini waffle cups will also do)
- In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup of the milk and the cornstarch and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the cream cheese and salt together, and set aside.
- Combine the remaining milk, the cream, the split vanilla beans and seeds, and the cinnamon sticks in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a low, rolling boil, and cook for four minutes.
- Remove the mixture from the heat, stir in the cornstarch mixture and the honey.
- Return the mixture to a boil, and cook, stirring, until the mixture is slightly thickened, for one or two minutes (note: if it doesn’t thicken much, don’t worry).
- Gradually whisk the hot milk/cream mixture into the cream cheese.
- Chill the mixture overnight (or use Jeni’s quick-cool method).
- Make the syrup by combining the sugar and water and bringing to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Add the rose water, return to a boil, cook for 3-4 minutes, then let cool.
- Remove the vanilla beans and cinnamon sticks from the chilled base.
- Freeze the ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.
- In a freezer-safe container, add a layer of the ice cream base, then drizzle in a layer of syrup, then add a layer of chopped nuts, then another layer of ice cream, and so on, until the container is full.
- Cover with a sheet of parchment cut to size, seal container tightly, and freeze for several hours until hard.
- To serve, warm the phyllo shells according to package directions. Use a teaspoon or small cookie or ice cream scoop to make a tiny scoop of ice cream and place it in the crisped shell. If you have any syrup or nuts left, you can add a final drizzle or sprinkle to the top of the ice cream. Serve 2-3 mini scoops/shells per person.