It felt like time for an ice cream post.
It is nearly August after all, and there has been a distinct lack of cool and tasty treats here on Island Vittles, especially compared to other years…
But we haven’t had a lot of sun or warmth here this year, in contrast to pretty much every other nook and corner of North America. Instead, we’re under almost perpetual cloud.
So consider these small bowls of ice cream as offered in solidarity to the rest of you withering under the sun. I’m selfless like that.
Kulfi is an East Indian style ice cream made without eggs and with mostly milk. It isn’t churned during the freezing process, but is instead allowed to freeze firm, making it an easy and fun ice cream that anyone can make. Traditional kulfi is flavoured with ground pistachios, giving it a slightly gritty, but still pleasant, texture.
Pender Island was pistachio-less when I went looking, which resulted in a little extra brainstorming…which is when I came up with the idea to use the pecans sent to me by a friend in Texas, from the trees in her very own yard. I can’t explain how delicious these nuts are, fresh out of the roasting pan. 10 minutes in a moderate oven brings out all the flavour in these gems.
The milk and cream slightly caramelize on the stove, and when you add a little vanilla, you get a wonderfully buttery flavour that turns this kulfi into a southern ice cream classic.
I tried a little experiment, and added some clarified butter to the ice cream mixture just before freezing. I wasn’t really thinking, because, of course, butter floats, which means we had a little crust of butter on the top of each serving. Not everyone’s cup of tea.
I omitted the butter from my final recipe, but you know what? It was actually pretty tasty, especially about 10 minutes after coming out of the freezer, when everything is just soft enough to get your spoon through, and you’re treated to an extra special boost of butter with every bite…(see the notes below the recipe if you’re interested in adding the butter.)
(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)
: Delicious, eggless East Indian ice cream made from mostly milk.
- Whole Milk – 4 Cups
- Whipping Cream – 1 Cup
- Rice Flour or Cornstarch – 1 Tble
- Sugar – ½ Cup
- Pecans, roasted – 1 Cup (divided)
- Vanilla Extract – ½ tsp
- Whisk together the milk, cream and rice flour/cornstarch in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium heat. Bring to a slow boil, stirring almost constantly to prevent scorching.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the mixture until it is the colour and consistency of cream and about 3½ cups of liquid. (Approx. 45 minutes.)
- Meanwhile, chop half of the pecans very finely and the other half roughly.
- Remove the cream/milk mixture from the heat and cool for 15 minutes. Stir in the sugar, pecans and vanilla, pour into ramekins or small bowls. Allow to cool completely before covering tightly with plastic wrap and freezing for at least 6 hours before serving.
- Remove from the freezer 5-10 minutes before serving.
- Roast raw pecans in a 325° F oven for 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
- For a savoury buttery crust, add 1/4 Cup
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 1 hour(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8
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