Roasted Cashew, Fig and Saffron Ice Cream

Ever since I started making ice creams at home, I started paying more attention to the ingredients I use and the purpose they serve in each recipe. I believe in natural and essential ingredients. Why add anything unnecessary in food when you don’t need to.

Home made Ice creams not only requires fewer number of ingredients but can also be customized per your choice. I am not going to judge if you haven’t paid close attention to the list of ingredients on back of those average $3 tubs.

When you make Ice cream at home, You can control the quality of the ingredients and experiment with flavors. And that’s exactly is my reasoning behind lot of the home cooking. This doesn’t mean we never go out to eat ice creams anymore but our major consumption is homemade since start of this season for sure.

So far I have made all of the eastern flavors and flavor combination that I grew up enjoying in India, along with kids favorite stracciatella, Chocolate fudge, Bourbon vanilla and caramel and I must say its worth every bit of the extra effort. You won’t feel hesitant when kids ask; Mom, can I please have seconds, which happens a lot around here.

Roasted Cashew, Fig and Saffron Ice cream

Next big question; Is it economical to make ice cream at home? I don’t think so. Though I must say, it has been more satisfying and enjoyable than store-bought ice cream has ever been. In addition, where do you find avocado, cardamom, saffron, rose, fig & cashew ice cream locally…If you know a place do message me here, smile. I think that is a good enough reason for me to keep at it and continue churning that cream and milk in my beloved Cuisinart electric Ice cream Maker.

I highly recommend this machine if you are looking to invest in beginner Ice cream maker for family of 4-6. It’s a great addition to our kitchen and so will be for yours. It makes 1 quart Ice cream at a time.  The canister requires refreezing for 8-12 hrs minimum before each use. I have worked around that situation and have made single batch for few days in raw until I have enough supply if I am serving at the party or entertaining large group of friends or family. If you have additional space for storing the canister, you can buy an extra or two and make multiple batch of ice cream at the same time. It sure will come handy. So far I haven’t felt the need nor I have space to store them.

Before I had my first Ice cream recipe on test I had done good deal of research, to see what experts are using in terms of proportion, combination of milk and fat and such. While doing research for a perfect base ice cream recipe, I came across Jeni’s splendid Ice cream book. She explains things so well, the science behind making ice cream is my favorite part of the book. It’s definitely a keeper. I understand now that the culprits behind crystalized homemade ice cream is more than one. The sugar, fat, liquid (amount of water) and temperature, all affects the final outcome, churning the ice cream in ice cream maker cools ice cream slowly without developing ice crystal and helps produce even, aerated and creamier consistency.

Roasted Cashew, Fig and Saffron Ice cream

After making slightly over a dozen times, I am now confidant to share my base Ice cream recipe that I have developed over a period of summer trying and testing several recipes and proportions. My base recipe uses only 4 ingredients plus flavors of your choice. It is also  suitable to eat during special diet fasting based on Hindu religion. The recipe uses tapioca flour in place of corn starch which makes it fasting friendly. Many asian dessert uses tapioca as thickening agent, in pudding and such and that was my inspiration. Its works like a charm and I could not be any happier with it.

Let’s take a look at how to make this ice cream all naturally, without adding artificial ingredients, eggs or even corn starch.

Roasted Cashew, Fig and Saffron Ice cream

Roasted cashew nuts, dried figs and saffron infused Ice cream that reminds me flavors from home (India)

Prep      |     Churn      |   Total Time

20min                        20-25min                       45min

Recipe type: Dessert

Quantity: approx. 1 Quart

Ingredients

Base Ice cream

2 cup + 4 tbsp Whole milk

1 cup Heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup  sugar in raw or granulated sugar

2 tbsp tapioca flour (I use Bob’s red mill, found at any major grocery store or organic grocery store)

Flavor Ingredients

1/4 cup roasted unsalted cashew nuts, rough chop and keep it aside

Few strands (8-10) of saffron

10-12 dry figs, soak in 2 tbsp milk and make puree  leaving few chunks for the texture and keep aside

Directions

Once you have the base ice cream recipe at hand you are pretty much good to go wild with flavors. Keep the water to fat proportion consistent to maintain the creaminess and avoid the ice crystal from forming when frozen.

Roasted Cashew, Fig and Saffron Ice cream

Have all the ingredients, measuring spoons and cups and pots ready.

Start with pouring whole milk and cream in the pot with raw sugar and let the mixture come to one boil while constantly stirring, Do not let cream-milk scald. It will take about 3-4 minutes. Make sure sugar is dissolved completely.

Take the pot off of the heat. Mix 2 tbsp of whole milk with 2 tbsp of tapioca flour and make slurry.

Mix tapioca slurry in cream-milk mixture while whisking and put the pot back on the heat.

Prepare iced water in larger pot to cool the cream-milk mixture.

Continue whisking and let the mixture come to single boil. It will take another 3-4 minutes. You will start to see the mixer getting thick like custard and will start to coat the back of the spoon.

Take the pot off of the heat and strain in to another pot. Mix saffron strands while the mixture is warm and stir for few minutes or until you start seeing the golden hue. Now cool off cream-milk mixture in the pot in the larger pot filled with iced water.

The mixer has to be completely cooled before it can be added to the ice cream maker canister.

Once the mixer is cooled completely take the frozen canister out of the fridge and pour cooled ice cream mixer in the canister and turn the ice cream maker on.

It will take anywhere from 20-30 minutes to churn the ice cream to soft scoopable consistency.

At that point add roughly chopped cashew and fig puree, let the ice cream maker mix it. It may not distribute evenly and that’s how I like. If you prefer well mixed you can add fruits earlier than that and before ice cream starts to set in the machine.

Either serve it soft right away or transfer in to an air tight container and freeze for 3-4 hrs to allow hardening and to get to hard scoop consistency.

I will leave you here to explore world of frozen treat and dream flavors ice cream with this post. Do let me know what you came up with. Will love to try your favorite flavor combinations and It may get chance to be featured in my future post. Up next is Avocado Ice cream, Beet Ice cream and come what may, wink.

Note:

I recommend taking ice cream container out on the counter top at least 10-15 minutes before scooping/serving. This ensures perfect consistency to achieve those picturesque scoop (see image) and your wrist will thank you too.

 

 

 

 

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