Saffron–honey ice cream with candied ginger

Saffron–honey ice cream with candied ginger

New Middle Eastern Food
1 litre
Mark Roper

We are particularly fond of traditional Persian ice cream, which is often tinted yellow with saffron. It’s hard to re-create at home because you need sahlab, the ground root of an orchid, to create the distinctive stretchy consistency. Instead, here is an alternative saffron ice cream that uses a duo of molten gold—saffron liquid and honey—and chunks of sparkling candied ginger. It is rich, luscious and intensely flavoured.

Serve with wafers, other crisp biscuits, or stone fruits with sugar and spice.


Quantity Ingredient
100ml honey
350ml water
200g caster sugar
25g liquid glucose
3 tablespoons Saffron chelow, (liquid)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 lime, juiced
250g thick natural yoghurt
3 tablespoons cream
80ml sour cream
1/3 cup finely diced crystallised ginger


  1. Bring the honey to the boil in a small saucepan over a medium heat and simmer to form a dark caramel — 145ºC if you have a candy thermometer. As the caramel darkens, swirl the pan constantly and move it on and off the heat to ensure you don’t burn the honey.
  2. Remove from the heat straight away and stir in the water (be careful, the caramel will spit and splutter). Stir gently to combine, then return to the heat. Stir in the sugar, liquid glucose, saffron liquid and ground ginger. Return to the boil, stirring gently to dissolve the sugar and glucose, then simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool.
  3. Refrigerate until chilled, then stir in the lime juice. Whisk the yoghurt, cream and sour cream together, then gently fold in the chilled honey–saffron syrup. Tip into an ice-cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. At the end of the churning, add the crystallised ginger to the ice cream and churn briefly to distribute it evenly. Transfer to the freezer until ready to serve.
  4. For an attractive presentation, sandwich a scoop of the ice cream between wafers or other crisp biscuits. Alternatively, serve the ice cream in bowls with wafers on the side.
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