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Recipes

Asha's Kesar Pista (Saffron Pistachio) Kulfi Semifreddo with Panneer Roses

Asha's Kesar Pista (Saffron Pistachio) Kulfi Semifreddo with Panneer Roses
Photo by

Asha Loupy

Asha's Kesar Pista (Saffron Pistachio) Kulfi Semifreddo with Panneer Roses

Recipe By:

Asha Loupy

Serves: Serves 6–8

No ice cream maker, no problem! This frozen dessert—inspired by frosty, milky kulfi (a frozen Indian dessert often flavored with pistachios, saffron and cardamom)—takes a page out of the Italian semifreddo book, freezing the layers in a sliceable loaf. A combination of sweetened condensed milk and whipped heavy cream provide the creamy, luscious base for two flavors—Saffron Almond and Pistachio Rose. Don't forget to finish with a smattering of chopped pistachios and a few extra Panneer Rose petals!

Ingredients

For the kulfi semifreddo
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Big pinch Kashmiri Saffron
  • One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk, divided
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1/3 cup raw, shelled pistachios
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rose water 
  • 1 teaspoon ground Panneer Rose petals
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Baraka Cardamom or Iniya Cardamom
  • Chopped pistachios, for garnish
  • Panneer Rose petals, for garnish

    Method

    1. Line a 9-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, so there is at least 3 to 4 inches of overhang on each side. Place in the freezer until ready to use.
    2. Mix the saffron, almond extract and 1/2 teaspoon hot water in a medium bowl and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Add half the sweetened condensed milk, whisk to combine and set aside.
    3. Place 1 cup heavy whipping cream in a large bowl and whip, using an electric mixer or by hand, until firm peaks form, about 2 to 6 minutes depending on which whipping method you choose. Add the whipped cream to the saffron condensed milk mixture and gently fold to incorporate. Transfer the mixture to the prepared loaf pan, spreading it in an even layer. Place in the freezer and freeze until just set, about an hour.
    4. While the first layer is setting, prepare the second layer. To remove the skin of the pistachios, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil over medium high heat. Add the pistachios, boil for one minute, turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Drain and place the drained pistachios on a clean kitchen towel. Fold the kitchen towel over the pistachios and gently rub them between the cloth to remove their outer skin.
    5. Discard the skin and place the peeled pistachios in a food processor or blender with the remaining half can sweetened condensed milk, rose water, ground rose petals and cardamom. Blend until smooth (you'll still have some little bits of pistachio, and that's okay!). Transfer to a medium bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
    6. When the first layer is set, place the remaining 1 cup heavy whipping cream in a large bowl and whip, using an electric mixer or by hand, until firm peaks form, about 2 to 6 minutes depending on which whipping method you choose. Take the pistachio rose condensed milk mixture out of the refrigerator, add the whipped cream and gently fold to incorporate. Remove the loaf pan from the freezer and pour in the second layer, gently spreading it into an even layer. Fold the plastic wrap up over the top and place back in the freezer until fully set, about 4 hours to overnight.
    7. When ready to serve, remove the loaf pan from the freezer and carefully flip over the pan, releasing the kulfi semifreddo. Unwrap and place on a chilled serving platter. Slice with a warm, dry knife (dip the knife in hot water, dry with a towel and slice!). Finish each slice with a sprinkle of chopped pistachios and whole Panneer rose petals.