People who know me would tell you that it's hard to tell which I like more: gardening or cooking. I'd say it depends on which I'm doing at the moment. Anyway, French cooking and French gardening go hand in hand. For me, cooking is an on-going adventure. Join me here on my culinary explorations, where I share with you both my old favorites as well as new inspirations. It's my fondest wish that these recipes serve as a springboard for your own new creations.
11/17/2005 Saffron ice cream with rose water (Crème glacée au safran et à l'eau de rose)
For 1 quart:
3 c. heavy cream 2/3 c. sugar 3 egg yolks 1 t. crumbled high quality saffron threads 2 T. rose water 1/4 c. chopped, toasted pistachios (optional) 1/2 c. chopped candied amarena cherries, or candied angelica, or dried Montmorency cherries, soaked several hours in cool water and drained Optional garnish: candied rose petals
Put the chopped fruit and pistachios, if using, in the freezer. Heat the cream over low heat in a heavy enamel saucepan with the sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Stir around half a cup of the hot cream into the egg yolks, then whisk the yolk mixture back into the hot cream until smooth. Stir in the saffron. As soon as the custard coats a spoon thinly, remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Stir in the rosewater. Chill thoroughly. Freeze in your ice cream freezer. When the ice cream is almost done, drop in the chopped candied fruit and/or pistachios, if using. Serve in frozen bowls and garnish with candied rose petals.
Note: This ice cream is a heavenly finish to a Moroccan or any Mediterranean menu. If you don't like rosewater, you can leave it out and it will still be absolutely delicious. The fruits and nuts are for those of us who love texture contrasts in our ice cream.