Saturday, February 9, 2008

Salep Ice Cream

My girlfriend sent me this recipe saying I must must must try this ice cream. I have never tried preparing ice cream at home. But this is a Turkish ice cream that I miss dearly, and I never even knew that I could prepare it at home, so I had to give it a try.

According to Wikipedia 2 features distinguish Turkish ice cream: texture and resistance to melting. It is much tougher and chewier than that of the ice cream used in sundaes, gelato or commercially produced ice cream; the unusual texture is produced by the use of salep and mastic resin as thickening agents, together with other flavorings.

Salep is finely ground dried tubers of locally-found wild orchids which makes the ice cream chewy. It’s possible to find it on-line from Turkish markets. And the ingredient called mastic can be found at Greek or Turkish markets on-line. You can prepare this ice cream without using mastic but it makes a great difference in taste, so try to find it.

The original recipe had 1,5 cups of sugar, and I decided to use 1 cup because I don't really like dessert that is too sweet. I prefer salty over sweet anytime. But even then, this ice cream was very sweet for me. So, next time I'm planning on using maybe 2/3 cups of sugar instead of 1 cup.

If you don't have an ice cream maker you can prepare it manually, it does take some time to prepare it, but the taste is so worth it. Yummmmm:)


4 cups whole milk
1 cups sugar
2 tablespoons salep
1 teaspoon of ground mastic

Grind the mastic: Mastic is usually sold in drops of resin which can stick to the mortar and pestle during grinding. To avoid, freeze mastic for 15 minutes before using and place it along with 1-2 tablespoons of the sugar in the mortar. Grind it with a pestle.

Mix the dry ingredients.

In a pan start warming up the milk. When it starts boiling add the dry ingredients.

Keep stirring until the milk gets close to cream consistency, about 5-8 minutes.

Let cool. Keep stirring while cooling to speed it up.

If using an ice cream maker: When cooled, transfer to ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

Without ice cream maker: Transfer to a metal container, cover with tightly fitting lid or foil and place in freezer. Every half hour, remove from freezer, transfer to a mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer until frothy. Quickly place back in the metal container and put in the freezer. Repeat three more times.

If you don't have a hand mixer use a wooden spoon to mix.

Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving.

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