Baklava Ice Cream

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This was my first time making ice cream from scratch. I borrowed my Mother’s ice cream maker with the promise of returning it alongside a delicious pint of frozen goodness. My ice cream making interest peaked a few weeks back when I was enjoying a particularly irresistible piece of baklava with a side of ice cream. Scooping both chunks of baklava and the ice cream into my mouth, my tastebuds were trying to grab the flavors as one. Which is when my mind realized I should just combine the two..into a delicious baklava ice cream.

I had a plan – I was going to find a simple vanilla ice cream recipe and customize it with baklava ingredients. However, when I got home and started looking at recipes, I began to feel overwhelmed. So overwhelmed I wondered if it would have been better to just go and buy a pint of ice cream at Kroger. I mean do I use whole milk or heavy cream or eggs? Do I let the mixture sit for an hour in the fridge or overnight?

This wasn’t the kind of  kitchen tool that I grew up watching my family use. I was totally clueless and, for the first time in years, the internet seemed to be throwing too much information at me to process. I sat on the idea of making ice cream for a few days. Comparing online recipes with my recipe books until I came onto a decision. I’d just wing it…like I’ve done with so many successful (but also…some unsuccessful) recipes in the past. I chose to go with heavy cream AND milk and to let the mixture sit overnight (just in case).

 

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And let me tell you – I am SO glad I didn’t give up and run to Kroger for a pint instead. All the worry and reluctance was so worth it. This ice cream is like nothing I’ve ever had before. Better than store bought and better than my local ice cream stand. It’s creamy and tastes fresh and full of cinnamon-walnut-honey-baklava amazingness.

 

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Baklava Ice Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk (I used 2% but whole would work well too), divided
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoons salt
  • 3 Tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon honey, divided
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 sheets phyllo dough, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

 

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup milk with the cornstarch. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and salt. Set aside.

Combine the cream, remaining milk, vanilla bean, and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a simmer (just until tiny bubbles start to form around the edges) and let simmer for three minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the honey and cornstarch mixture, and return to heat. Bring to simmer, stirring constantly, and let cook until thickened (one or two minutes). Remove from heat, whisk in the cream cheese mixture, and chill the mixture overnight.

The night day: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and transfer to a baking sheet. On a separate baking sheet, place 4 phyllo sheets down and brush with butter. Place the other four on top of those and brush with butter. Mix any remaining butter with the walnut mixture. Cook both in the oven for 25 minutes or until the phyllo has browned and the walnuts are giving off a nutty aroma. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Break the phyllo dough into large chunks.

Remove the cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean from the chilled cream mixture. Prepare the ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s instructions (mine has me stick the cream mixture into the ice cream maker for 20 minutes). 1 minute before the ice cream is done churning, add in the nuts and phyllo dough.

Enjoy right away or transfer into an airtight container in the freezer to enjoy later.

 

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Shellywest

Shelly is the creator of Vegetarian Ventures. She is also the Creative Director of Driftless Magazine and likes to wear wolf shirts, drink peppermint tea, and dance to Stevie Nicks.

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14 Comments

  1. Reply

    Allison (Spontaneous Tomato)

    May 4, 2013

    Such a genius idea for a homemade ice cream flavor! (this is what makes having an ice cream maker totally worthwhile.) i love love love baklava, and the walnut/honey/cinnamon combination sounds amazing in ice cream! (i bet a little rose water would work well in there too.)

    just curious why you added cornstarch, since i’ve never used/seen that in ice cream recipes, but maybe it’s instead of using eggs?

  2. Reply

    Sasha | Global Table Adventure

    May 7, 2013

    I LOVE this so much!! What a fun idea 🙂 After those pictures, I’m ready for a bowl… pronto

  3. Reply

    Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen

    May 7, 2013

    Baklava ice-cream sounds amazing! Stunning, stunning photos too!

  4. Reply

    Alanna {The Bojon Gourmet}

    May 14, 2013

    Baklava ice cream, what?!?! That is awesome – pure genius! I’m loving your blog, and want to cook every single recipe!

  5. Reply

    JENNIFER @ DELICIEUX

    May 23, 2013

    Wow, this ice cream looks amazing!!! IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME MAKING ICE CREAM. YOU OBVIOUSLY HAVE A NATURAL GIFT.

    • Reply

      Shellywest

      May 31, 2013

      Thanks, Jennifer!

  6. Reply

    Melissa

    June 14, 2013

    At what point do you add the cream cheese & salt mixture?

    • Reply

      Shellywest

      June 16, 2013

      Ah ha – thanks for catching, Melissa! You whisk in the cream cheese mixture right before sticking in the fridge to chill overnight. I’ve added it to the recipe above.

      Sorry about that and enjoy!

  7. Reply

    Bell

    May 20, 2014

    yuum two of my favourite things, what a combination 🙂

    • Reply

      wholebeautynfitness

      November 17, 2014

      Thank you for doing your research and posting this. It’s funny because in the last couple of weeks, my plan has been to make ice cream from scratch, as well as baklava for the first time!! And here, there’s both together!! Perfect! My question is, do you bake the phyllo all sheets on top of one another in one stack, after buttering?

      • Reply

        Shellywest

        November 20, 2014

        I baked the phyllo sheets all on top of each other and just made sure to butter in the middle of them. Hope that helps!

  8. Reply

    xapikleia

    November 9, 2015

    I made this for a dinner party we had yesterday, and it was a hit! When I was heating the mixture, I was quite tempted to pour some in a mug and drink it; it smelled so wonderful!

    I might try it without the phyllo next time, which is like baklava sacrilege, but I think it will work anyway. We have soy allergies and can’t eat store-bought phyllo, so I made my own, which in the end seemed like crazy business for some added ice cream texture!

    • Reply

      Shellywest

      November 10, 2015

      Wow! Props for making your own phyllo – that is an extensive extra step! Glad to hear it was such a hit for your dinner party!

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