Saffron Rosewater Ice Cream with pistachio and cherries
After months of false starts Summer is well and truly here at long last. You have to fight for a spot at the pool, a steady program of barbecue events is underway and the TV schedule is immersed in cricket and tennis. I love love love this time of year.
As well as all of the above, one of my favourite summer things to do is make ice cream. For me ice cream is like a canvas, open to a mind numbing array of flavour, colour and textural combinations. I love to experiment. The problem is that I also want to indulge in all my old favourites (chocolate sour cream, lemon meringue, choc mint, rocky road, coconut, lemon cheesecake - I could go on for forever). It all adds up to a lot of ice cream. Fortunately for my waistline, I have plenty of friends who are happy to take a share of it off my hands.
While I am always happy to experiment by my own little self, I also keep a vigilant lookout for interesting recipes and ideas from elsewhere. So when I stumbled across this recipe for saffron rosewater ice cream I knew I would be trying it out. I love Middle Eastern flavours, and this ice cream is just the epitome.
I was intrigued with how saffron would settle into an ice cream. I was worried that it would either be overpowering or simply disappear altogether. As it happened, this recipe is wonderfully balanced. The saffron comes through as a subtle undertone to the rosewater flavour. The crunch of the pistachios and the tang of cherries (I used bottled cherries) adds a lovely contrast.
Having said all that I liked this ice cream in small doses only. A spoonful or two is thoroughly enjoyable. Any more than that and it just all becomes too much. So I was thinking a better idea may be to serve just a spoonful or two of this ice cream alongside a scoop of plain cherry or pistachio.
Come to think of it, I have never tried a cherry ice cream. That is definitely one for the drawing board.