Bastani/Persian Saffron Ice Cream

By • August 11, 2015 0 Comments

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Author Notes: Bastani is a traditional Persian/Iranian ice cream. The primary flavors are rosewater and saffron, and it's usually topped with pistachios and filled with flecks of frozen cream for crunch. I've gotten insight and inspiration from the recipes from both Sephardi Kitchen and from, but I've adapted them in more ways than one. I've altered the prep, measurements, and added a few of my own favorite ingredients to accent the rose flavor. It's a beautiful dish, bright in color and full of deep and wonderful summer flavors. Jerrelle Guy


Serves 18

Frozen Cream

  • 1/2 pint heavy cream
  • the zest from a medium lemon

Saffron and Rose Water Custard

  • 7 egg yolks
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 and 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground saffron
  • 1/4 cup rose water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 5 tablespoons whole milk ricotta
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup dry roasted and salted pistachios nutmeats (for sprinkling on at the end)
  1. On a sheet tray lined with parchment, spread the heavy cream around until it's a thin layer (wafer thin). Evenly sprinkle the top with the lemon zest. Place the sheet pan, flat, inside the freezer for about 2 hours, or until frozen through.
  2. In a large saucepan, add milk, heavy cream, and salt, and bring up to medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
  3. While the saffron leaves are steeping, whisk egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch together in a medium-sized bowl with an electric mixer until it's creamy and pale (almost like ice cream).
  4. Whisk in the 1/4 cup of rosewater to the egg and sugar mixture
  5. Very slowly ladle the hot milk/cream mixture into the egg and sugar mixture and whisk it together. Be sure to do this step gradually, as to not curdle the eggs.
  6. After bringing the eggs up to temperature (by adding roughly 4 ladles of the hot cream mixture to the eggs), add the contents of the bowl back into the saucepan with the remaining cream.
  7. Continue stirring the cream until it gets foamy on the top and coats the back of the wooden spoon.
  8. Remove from the heat and pour through a strainer into a large bowl, and refrigerate until completely chilled through.
  9. Remove from the fridge, add in the whole milk ricotta, and the tsp of lemon zest and whisk it together.
  10. Chill the bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer (as long as it is required), and then fill with the cream mixture and watch it whip into a beautiful soft custard (following the instructions for your specific maker). Remove it from the machine (after about 20 minutes) and transfer it to a large bowl.
  11. Remove the sheet of frozen cream from the freezer, and break it into tiny chocolate-chip-cookie-sized chunks. Mix the chunks into the frozen cream, and transfer the mixture to a large enough air-tight container.
  12. Freeze for at least 3 hours, and when ready to serve, scoop and sprinkle with pistachios.
  13. Finish with an extra zesting of lemon! And serve :)

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