My blog really taught me the meaning of 'time flies when you're having fun'. It seems like such a short while ago that I started the blog and would go through long hours hitting my head against a proverbial wall trying to think of what I should post for recipes. It took for ever to even come up with just five ideas, leave alone the methods that I had to come up with to create a unique dish that I could refer to as my signature style. Almost 4 years and 190+ recipes later, I still wake up with the excitement of what can I create today? and that dear readers and fellow bloggers, is an incredible feeling that each and everyone of you infuse me with. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart!
So I decided to go low tech to celebrate this milestone, No high faluting tweaks to conventional homely favorites. This weeks recipe is a quick shortcut to making some delicious traditional Indian ice cream - Saffron & almond Kulfi ice cream. Traditional kulfi is made with milk that has been evaporated and condensed (this process can take a couple of hours of constantly stirring the milk) into a thick mass before being set to freeze.the resultant product is a dense frozen treat that in fact may not melt as fast as the conventional ice creams.
As much as the kids love the conventional Ice cream, my husband & I prefer a lighter gelato like texture in our frozen treats. I deliberately opted to use more milk in the kulfi. The ice cream maker takes care of the smooth texture despite the higher water content.
Kulfi portions are often served in little disposable earthen pots. The porous pottery absorbs some of the water in the kulfi mixture thus making it more dense. It still amazes me as to where I found these authentic little matka pots - Nordstrom's at Short Hills Mall of all places.
Before these are used to pour to kulfi in for freezing, They have to be scrubbed with running water and a brush to get rid of any mud & debris. The pots are then immersed in clean water for a couple of hours to ensure that the the pores are flushed out of the air bubbles. They're then left to air dry overnight.
Kulfi Ice cream with Saffron & Almonds (Makes 6 servings)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cups whole milk + 2 tablespoons extra
1/2 - 2/3 cups sugar (adjust as per taste)
15-20 threads saffron
3 cardamom pods, just the seeds crushed(adjust as per taste)
2 tablespoons corn flour
1/2 cup of crushed sliced almonds
Pieces of Pistachio & extra strands of saffron for garnish
Heat the 3/4 cup of milk along with the sugar, cardamom and the saffron Once the sugar dissolves, add the cream and bring the mixture to a gentle bubbling simmer. At this point taste the mixture and adjust for sweetness.
Whisk the cornflour into the remaining 2 tablespoons of milk and add it to the mixture along with the crushed almonds. Allow the mixture to thicken in consistency (~ 5 minutes),similar to that of a custard. Transfer to a bowl, cover (Covering the bowl prevents a skin from forming) and allow to cool completely for a couple of hours or preferably chill overnight in a refrigerator.
Once the mixture is completely cooled / chilled, add the mixture to your ice cream maker and run it according to the manufacturers instruction. I use a Cuisinart ice cream maker which comes with freezer bowls that have to be chilled beforehand. I just poured the mixture in and let it run for 20 minutes. to yield a soft serve consistency.
Spoon out the kulfi into the matka pots, cover with a piece of aluminum foil, and place into a freezer for the kulfi to harden to an ice cream texture (~ 3-4 hours). Garnish with the pistachios & saffron and serve chilled.