Laban Ice-cream



It's not that we consume enormous amounts of ice-cream, but now we finally have the weather I'm feeling the urge to churn more often. I have had a little packet of gum mastic in the cupboard for ages and decided to use it when we moved - as I had decided to give it a home in the new house. It's traditionally used in middle eastern sweets and ice creams - even chewed with a piece of wax as a kind of basic chewing gum. It has health benefits - although if you believe some of the reports of it's efficacy, it could make you superhuman. The mastic has a resiny, perfumed taste to it and gives a slightly more elastic texture to the ice-cream. I think that anything that can be added to ice-cream that gives it health benefits is right up my street, so I adapted a Moro recipe and came up with this one....

Laban Ice-Cream with Mastic

2 large eggs
200g live whole milk yogurt / Greek yogurt / Laban
160ml organic double cream
85g palm sugar or raw honey
4 crystals gum mastic
1-2 tsp rose water or 1 tsp vanilla extract

Crush the mastic with 2 tsp of sugar in a pestle and mortar. Mix in the rosewater or vanilla extract.

Make a custard with the cream, egg yolks and 15g of the sugar. Do this by beating the egg yolks with the sugar and heating the cream to just under boiling point(steaming, not bubbling). Pour the cream over the egg yolks while whisking , rinse the pan and pour the custard mixture back in. Stir over a low heat until slightly thickened - enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Don't overheat or it will curdle. Set aside to cool.

Put the remaining sugar with the egg whites in a bain marie (or bowl over gently simmering water) and stir until steaming but not boiling. Take off the heat and whisk with an electric hand held until you have a thick, cool meringue (about 8-10 minutes)

Fold the custard, mastic mixture and yogurt into the cold meringue until just mixed and churn in an ice-cream maker until frozen. You could try making this without an ice cream maker in the freezer - just remember to take it out every 20 minutes and stir gently to break up the ice crystals. It won't be as smooth, but it will still be delicious.