Try a bit of the exotic with this No Churn Persian Ice Cream with Saffron and Rose Water (bastani). It’s easy to make at home and WITHOUT an ice cream machine.
Summer vacation in San Diego should run July through September; those are our hot months. It seems like the heat really kicks in when the kids return to school. Not that I’m whining or complaining.
The ice cream maker is in full swing and the popsicles are in constant supply. For a taste of the exotic, the kids really love this Persian Ice Cream with Saffron and Rose Water (bastani). And it’s easy to make WITHOUT an ice cream machine.
Why this recipe is so awesome
If you have never tried bastani then this is a special treat for you. Most ice cream flavors are sweet and flavorful. But Persian ice cream is also aromatic.
Saffron is mixed which gives the frozen treat its golden yellow color. Saffron is also aromatic. Rosewater is also mixed in, again, more amazing aroma.
Pistachios and rose petals are mixed into the ice cream, finishing off this exotic dessert. Don’t think this is too fancy for your family. My kids go crazy and love Persian bastani. So give it a try the next time you are looking for something special to serve your guests.
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- Vanilla ice cream: For this cheater’s method, I used store bought vanilla ice cream. Remember to choose one that is creamy. You can also make your own ice cream base. I suggest this recipe for French vanilla ice cream.
- Saffron: You want a high quality saffron, which gives your bastani its golden color and intoxicating aroma. Look for crimson strands, not orange or yellow. Check out this post on more information about how to choose saffron.
- Rosewater: You can make your own rose water or store bought. You can find it online or in middle eastern markets.
- Pistachios: You want to use shelled and unsalted pistachios.
- Rose petals: You can purchase culinary grade dried rose petals in middle eastern stores or online. Or you can dry your rose petals, just be sure they are pesticide free.
1. The key to this short cut version is to start with high quality vanilla ice cream and let it soften a bit. This should take about 30 minutes sitting on the counter. Transfer the softened ice cream to a large bowl. While ice cream is softening, crush your saffron using a mortar and pestle and dissolve in a bit of warm water. This should steep for about 30 minutes.
2. Once your saffron water is reddish orange, add it to your softened ice cream with the rose water and pistachio bits. You can also add a teaspoon or two of crushed dried rose petals. It adds a bit of color as well as fragrance.
3. Transfer your soft ice cream into a freezer safe container, and place it back in the freezer to let it harden. This usually takes about 6 hours. I know it is impossible to be patient, but do your best.
Recipe tips and FAQs
And if you are ever in Los Angeles, you must visit Mashti Malone’s. It’s an iconic ice cream parlor that makes the best Persian ice cream with saffron (bastani). It is typically served as an ice cream sandwich, pressed against two wafers, and it is positively incredible. Until then, you’ll just have made do with my very tasty (and easy) no churn recipe.
I always recommend to buy saffron threads and not powder. High grade saffron threads are dark red, not orange and with no trace of yellow. When you open your container of saffron you should be able to recognize it’s beautiful scent. Yes, saffron can be expensive, but don’t be duped and purchase cheap saffron. The color and aroma produced will not be the same.
Although some people think that turmeric is a fine substitute for saffron, IT IS NOT. Definitely do NOT use turmeric in ice cream because you will end up producing something gross. Turmeric has a completely different flavor from saffron.
- 1 ½ qt vanilla ice cream
- ¼ teaspoon crushed saffron
- 1 TBS hot water
- 1 TBS rose water
- ½ cup coarsely chopped pistachios
- Allow ice cream soften at room temperature for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, combine saffron and hot water in a small bowl.
- When ice cream has softened, place in a large bowl and mix in saffron mixture, rose water and pistachios until thoroughly combined.
- Scrape ice cream back into it's original container and freeze until hardened, at least 6 hours.
Serving Size:½ cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 139Total Fat: 7.8gSaturated Fat: 4.1gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 44mgCarbohydrates: 14.5gFiber: 0.2gSugar: 14.1gProtein: 3.3g
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