Baklava Ice Cream recipe takes us back to Jordan

One of my favorite parts about a trip to Jordan (Greece, Palastine, Turkey… really anywhere in that region) is the baklava. While each country has it’s own take on baklava, which I’ll gladly try, that traditional honey and pistacio is my go-to dessert. Even the fresh knafi of Jordan and Palestine couldn’t beat out my love of baklava.

When trying to create a baklava ice cream, I knew it had to have two things– lots of honey and pistachio nuts. Adding in a cinnamon swirl created some dimension, along with orange blossom water (rose water works as well) to give it that Middle Eastern flavor so often associated with baklava.

Baklava Ice Cream

Baklava Recipe Gone Wrong

I’ve tried to make baklava, using what I thought was a killer recipe, but it flopped. My phyllo dough sheets may have had too much better. Maybe I didn’t make enough sugar water and honey syrup (apparently excess syrup isn’t an issue when making fresh baklava). Either way, the nuts tasted burnt, and the melted butter (I actually used ghee) was a bit off.

Basically, it didn’t taste like those delicate honey mosels I devour in Jordan and Greece. So, like any good baker, I moved on (Ok, so I quit and maybe one day I’ll give it another go).

Baklava Ice Cream

BAKLAVA ICE CREAM INSPIRATION

Since I’d been on an ice cream kick all summer, I figured I could make my perfect baklava in a scoop of ice cream instead of phyllo sheets.

People think you should start with a vanilla ice cream base, but they are wrong. You need to stick with honey to make those baklava flavors really pop.

For once, there would be no vanilla bean pod needed in my recipe, which definitely makes this ice cream cheaper than others (cheapest and easiest ice cream is still my key lime pie ice cream).

Baklava Ice Cream

Honey, Cinnamon and Pistachio

Most baklava uses cinnamon or some other type of spice, so by using a honey ice cream base, with a cinnamon swirl, I figured I could incorporate that into the recipe. Using corn starch, I was able to make the cinnamon syrup stay together when combined with the ice cream.

Last but not least, the nut mixture had to be perfect. Big, cold chunks of pistachio wouldn’t be fun. Then again, neither would pistachio nut dust. With a quick chop in the food processor, I was able to get a fine chop that you could still tell was a nut, without breaking a tooth on a solid pistachio in the baklava ice cream.

It was time to start churning my ice cream. No melted butter required.

Baklava Ice Cream

Honey Ice Cream

  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 – 1 cup honey (wild flower honey or orange blossom honey works best)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 5 egg yolks

Honey Ice Cream Instructions

  1. Pour the milk, cream, salt and sugar into a sauce pan.
  2. Heat cream mixture until it just starts to simmer.
  3. Take off the heat.
  4. Whisk egg yolks in a small bowl (about 1 minute)
  5. Slowly whisk in ½ cup of the heated cream mixture into the egg yolks to temper
  6. Pour egg mixture into remaining cream mixture in your pot, whisking constantly
  7. Stir custard mixture constantly over medium heat with a wooden spoon until back of the spoon is coated with custard.
  8. Pour custard through a fine-mesh strainer into a heat-resistant bowl.
  9. Stir a few times to cool it down.
  10. Pour honey into custard, starting with 2/3 cup, until you get the intensity you like.
  11. Chill in the refrigerator for at least four hours (or overnight)
  12. Taste your custard mix to make sure there is enough honey. Add in more if needed before churning.
  13. Churn the custard in your ice cream maker for 25 minutes.
Baklava Ice Cream

Cinnamon Swirl Sauce

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 ½ cups water + 2 tbsp water
  • 3 cloves (whole)
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ tbsp orange blossom water (optional)

Cinnamon Swirl Instructions

  1. Whisk together 2 tbsp of water with 2 tbsp corn starch
  2. In a small sauce pan, combine cinnamon, salt, brown sugar, sugar and 1 ½ cups of water
  3. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
  4. Add cloves and vanilla.
  5. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Add orange blossom water (if using).
  8. Allow to cool completely (hot cinnamon sauce will melt your honey ice cream!)
Baklava Ice Cream

Pistachios

  • 2 cups salted pistachios (shelled)

Chop salted pistachios in a food processor or with a knife to make smaller pieces. Be careful not to grind pistachios into a paste. You still want recognizable pieces.

Combining into a Baklava Ice Cream

  1. Scoop half of your ice cream into a freezer-friendly container (or loaf pan).
  2. Drizzle cinnamon sauce on top, using a straw or chopstick to make a swirl.
  3. Sprinkle chopped pistachios on top.
  4. Add remaining honey ice cream to container.
  5. Drizzle cinnamon sauce on top (giving it another little swirl).
  6. Cover top with pistachios.
  7. Freeze ice cream for at least 4 hours to set.
  8. Enjoy!

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Yield: 6-8

Baklava Ice Cream

Baklava Ice Cream

There are a lot of steps, but this homemade baklava ice cream recipe is actually easy to make. A combination of cinnamon, pistachios and honey make the flavors bright, without the puff pastry needed, which means, it's gluten free too!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 – 1 cup honey (wild flower honey or orange blossom honey works best)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 5 egg yolks

Cinnamon Sauce

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 ½ cups water + 2 tbsp water
  • 3 cloves (whole)
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ tbsp orange blossom water (optional)

Nuts

  • 2 Cups salted pistachios (shelled)

Instructions

Honey Ice Cream

  1. Pour the milk, cream, salt and sugar into a sauce pan.
  2. Heat cream mixture until it just starts to simmer.
  3. Take off the heat.
  4. Whisk egg yolks in a small bowl (about 1 minute)
  5. Slowly whisk in ½ cup of the heated cream mixture into the egg yolks to temper
  6. Pour egg mixture into remaining cream mixture in your pot, whisking constantly
  7. Stir custard mixture constantly over medium heat with a wooden spoon until back of the spoon is coated with custard.
  8. Pour custard through a fine-mesh strainer into a heat-resistant bowl.
  9. Stir a few times to cool it down.
  10. Pour honey into custard, starting with 2/3 cup, until you get the intensity you like.
  11. Chill in the refrigerator for at least four hours (or overnight)
  12. Taste your custard mix to make sure there is enough honey. Add in more if needed before churning.
  13. Churn the custard in your ice cream maker for 25 minutes.

Cinnamon Sauce

  1. Whisk together 2 tbsp of water with 2 tbsp corn starch
  2. In a small sauce pan, combine cinnamon, salt, brown sugar, sugar and 1 ½ cups of water
  3. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
  4. Add cloves and vanilla.
  5. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Add orange blossom water (if using).
  8. Allow to cool completely (hot cinnamon sauce will melt your honey ice cream!)

Pistachios
Chop salted pistachios in a food processor or with a knife to make smaller pieces. Be careful not to grind pistachios into a paste. You still want recognizable pieces.

Combining into Baklava Ice Cream

  1. Scoop half of your ice cream into a freezer-friendly container (or loaf pan).
  2. Drizzle cinnamon sauce on top, using a straw or chopstick to make a swirl.
  3. Sprinkle chopped pistachios on top.
  4. Add remaining honey ice cream to container.
  5. Drizzle cinnamon sauce on top (giving it another little swirl).
  6. Cover top with pistachios.
  7. Freeze ice cream for at least 4 hours to set.

Notes

Cinnamon Swirl sauce can be cut in half if you don't think you will want too much. You can also toast up a few phyllo sheets to make a pastry crumble to top your ice cream once you scoop it out.

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