I’ll admit, this is a bastardized, semi-homemade dessert. But after my mom made some at Thanksgiving, my partner and I have been making it non-stop, and feeding it to all our friends. Everybody has loved it, including chowhound “ramen girl” and avowed rose water haters. It’s called “Akbar Mashti” for historical reasons that I don’t know at all, and is similar to, but simpler than Indian kulfi. And yes, LA-based ‘hounds have easy access to Mashti Malone’s (I am profoundly jealous), but this is how the rest of us make do.
So here goes:
One thing of vanilla ice cream, soft but not melted (I used 1.75 quart Breyer’s French Vanilla)
2 tsp rose water
Fresh pistachio slivers
Pour a 1 cm layer of heavy cream +/- orange zest into a container, and freeze. (We use a 4 by 4 inch tray for this). Once frozen, cut into approx 1/2 centimeter squares.
Grind the saffron to a powder in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. My measurements are imprecise and guided by getting things the right color; sorry. Add 1/4 teaspoon saffron powder to 1/4 cup hot water. You want the water to be a deep orange.
In a large mixing bowl, combine a few cups of ice cream, the rose water, the frozen cream chunks and some of the saffron water, stir until the color is uniform. Add more saffron water until the ice cream is sunflower yellow. Add more ice cream, more saffron water; stir. Be careful that your arm doesn’t fall off. You can add more hot water to the saffron powder you’ve got as long as it’s coloring the water; otherwise, you might need more. Plop your melty mix back in the ice cream container, and back in the freezer.
I don’t have an ice cream maker, and have been pleasantly surprised at how well the ice cream retains its texture after melting, mixing and refreezing.
Top with pistachio slivers, and enjoy.
Pictures of my mom’s at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rose_wat...
(Sorry, they’re not great; but the ice cream was!)