Arab ice-cream, such as the Lebanese booza is the best in the world. There, I said it. Ice-cream that captures the essence of the perfume you are after. Light and intense. No cream, no eggs, just pure flavor. Besides, I read somewhere that the Phoenicians used to carry ice to take to King Solomon. The Phoenicians must have started the ice-cream business.
I used the method indicated in Ma’dat Marlene by Marlene Matar مايده مارلين
INGREDIENTS: Quantity will serve up to 8
1 quart of whole milk ( or 1 liter)
7 oz of sugar or 1 cup and 2 tablespoons
1/4 teaspoon ground mastic ground with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
1 Tablespoon orange blossom water
1/2 Tablespoon rose water
2 Tablespoons sahlab powder or 4 tablespoons of Kuzu Root starch or 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
1/2 cup of pistachios
- Grind the pieces of mastic by crushing them in a mortar with a teaspoon of sugar.
- Take 1/4 cup of the milk and dissolve the starch in it.
- Take the remaining milk and add the sahlab mixture to it. Add the sugar to the milk and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Add the mastic when the mixture starts to thicken. Then take it off the heat.
- Strain the mixture and let it cool. Pour it into a bowl.
- Cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.
- Pour into the ice-cream maker canister and let it churn until it reaches the consistency of ice-cream.
- Transfer the ice-cream into a bowl.
- Start mixing the pistachios in. Then cover the bowl and freeze overnight or longer.
- Invert the mold onto a serving platter and garnish with more pistachios.
- Enjoy. Sahteyn!
Go easy on the mastic, as it can be overpowering.
To peel pistachios: soak them in water for a couple of hours or longer. They will peel right off.
You can skip adding pistachios, just make booza b-haleeb (milk)
Pistachios are known to be very nutritious, with a lot of potassium, Vitamin B6, all kinds of minerals and a lot of fiber.
Real sahlab or salep is impossible to find. I read somewhere that it is forbidden to export it (from Turkey) because it is now virtually endangered or extinct due to extensive harvesting. So the only product widely available is shalab drink powder, which is not the real thing. So, it is possible to substitute a thickening agent such as cornstarch or kuzu root starch to thicken the custard a bit before freezing.
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