Homemade Baklava Ice Cream gives you all the rich, yet delicate flavors of honey drizzled baklava without the many layers of phyllo-dough to mess with. Use up leftover nuts such as walnuts and pistachios from your pantry to add a crunch to this smooth family favorite.
The Culprit: Walnuts and Pistachios
I know I can’t be the only one that has half-empty bags of nuts that sit on the pantry shelves for months at a time, right? I typically need them for a recipe and then forget I have them. So there they sit, alone with each other, awaiting the day to be used again. Well, today is the day!
You certainly wouldn’t want to throw out perfectly good nuts, stale or not. Walnuts and pistachios are filled with fiber, heart-healthy fats, and are a great source of protein. While you could certainly snack on these nuts alone, in a trail mix, or granola, my sweet tooth assured me that pistachios meant honey and baklava. But Baklava is a pain to make with the many layers of phyllo dough, so ice cream it was!
What is traditional baklava?
Baklava is a Greek dessert recipe that is drenched in sweet honey and crunchy in texture with the use of many layers of phyllo dough and walnuts. Many make baklava as a labor of love and deliver during the holiday season as a gift. Traditional baklava can last about a week at room temperature but can also be stored in the fridge or frozen for later enjoyment. Of course, this baklava ice cream will need to be frozen in an airtight container for best taste. Sealed properly it can last a month easy. However, I doubt it’ll be around long enough to test that theory.
Nut substitutions for this Baklava Ice Cream
You can go ahead and get creative with this ice cream. If you don’t have half and half of walnuts and pistachios, go ahead and use a full amount of what you do have. If you have neither of those on hand you can use hazelnuts or almonds for a similar taste and texture. Any mixture of those nuts will be delicious!
What are the ingredients for Baklava Ice Cream?
- Whole Milk – be sure to use whole as the custard really needs the fat.
- Heavy Cream
- Honey – local if you have it.
- Egg Yolks – save the whites for an egg-white omelet the next morning.
- Ground Cinnamon
- Ground Nutmeg
- Vanilla Extract – or a vanilla bean pod.
- Chopped Walnuts and Pistachios
HOW TO MAKE BAKLAVA ICE CREAM STEP BY STEP WITH IMAGES
- Bring to a simmer.
Combine the milk, cream, and honey in a large saucepan on the stovetop over medium-low heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer to dissolve the honey and thicken the liquid. Be sure to stir frequently with a whisk to keep from burning. *If using a vanilla bean pod instead of vanilla extract, slice, remove seeds and put both the seeds and pod in at this step.
- Whisk the egg yolks.
In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks. You’ll want a large bowl so you can temper them. Do not over whisk your eggs. You just need to break them.
- Temper the egg yolks.
Use one cup of the heated milk mixture and slowly pour into the bowl with the egg yolks, being sure to whisk while doing so. This slowly cooks the egg yolks without scrambling them.
- Return to the stovetop.
Once your eggs have been tempered, return them to the milk mixture on the stovetop slowly and stirring the entire time.
- Add Cinnamon and Nutmeg and whisk.
- Cook until thickened.
Continue to cook the mixture, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until thickened or 155-160F. The custard should coat the back of a spoon, lingering for a moment before drizzling off. This should not boil, but may look foamy.
- Remove and strain.
Once thickened, remove it from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer to remove and lumps. This step helps to make the ice cream silky smooth.
- Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Cover airtight with plastic film.
Lay plastic film on top of the custard so no film will form during the cooling process. Place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, better overnight. You can also speed up the cooling process by placing this bowl in an ice bath and stirring every few minutes before setting in the refrigerator.
Set up your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions. With the machine on, pour your mixture in a slow steady stream. Churn for approximately 30 minutes. Ice cream should be a soft-serve consistency and stay that way when turning off the machine momentarily.
- Add nuts
Remove the inner components and stir in the nuts with a rubber spatula. I like to do this within the ice cream machine so the ice cream stays cold while I work it.
- Pour into an ice cream container or bread pan.
The amount generated here is perfect for pouring into a bread pan. Leave naked or top with additional nuts at this time. Cover again with plastic film to make airtight and place into the freezer for a couple of hours to reach more of a hard-serve consistency.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO CHURN ICE CREAM?
Depending on the amount of mixture you pour into your machine and the manufacturer’s instructions, it should take approximately 30-45 minutes. You’ll want to make sure your custard is fully chilled before adding to the machine. Use an ice bath to speed up the cooling process of your custard, but do not add warm or hot custard to an ice cream machine.
Baklava Ice Cream
- Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer
- Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Attachment
- Large Sauce Pan
- Large Mixing Bowls
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup honey
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chopped pistachios
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Combine heavy cream, milk and honey in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, on the stovetop. Stirring frequently to prevent the bottom from burning, sticking, or curdling. Heat until warmed through.
- In a medium to small heat-proof bowl whisk the four egg yolks. Slowly whisk 1 cup of the heated cream mixture into the egg yolks. Then slowly pour the egg yolk cream mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining cream mixture.
- Add cinnamon and nutmeg to the custard mixture. Whisk continuously until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Custard should linger for a bit before sliding off the spoon.
- Pour the custard through a fine-mesh strainer. Shake, but do not push through. Stir in the vanilla extract. Cover the custard with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, about 6 hours.
- Using cling-wrap, cover the custard directly on top to prevent a skin from forming. Keep covered and refrigerated until cold, approximately 6 hours.*
- If using a Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Mixer, turn the mixer on before pouring in the cooled custard. Pour in a slow steady stream. Mix until soft-serve consistency and add pistachios and walnuts. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for an additional 2 hours until more of a hard serve consistency.