The Washington Post

No-Churn Saffron and Pistachio Ice Cream

No-Churn Saffron and Pistachio Ice Cream 12.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Aug 11, 2020

This spin on traditional Persian ice cream keeps the signature flavors of cardamom, rose water and saffron, without any of the fuss of the ice cream maker, thanks to sweetened condensed milk and fresh whipped cream. Depending on the length of your saffron strands, as well as the quality and origin of your saffron, the hue intensity will vary from a pale yellow to a deeper gold.

Make Ahead: The ice cream needs to be made and frozen at least 6 hours before serving.

Storage Notes: The ice cream may be stored, tightly covered, in the freezer for up to 4 weeks.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 12 servings; makes 2 quarts

  • 20 threads saffron
  • 2 ice cubes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons rose water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) raw or roasted, unsalted shelled pistachios, chopped, plus more for garnish


Using a mortar and pestle, grind the saffron threads to a fine powder; depending on how long your saffron threads are, you should get between 1/4 and 1/2 teaspoon of ground saffron. (If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can grind the saffron using the flat and dull side of a large chef’s knife against a clean, scent-free cutting board, alternating between the two, until finely ground.) Place the ice in a small bowl and sprinkle the ground saffron over. Set aside until the ice melts; this will be your saffron water.

In a large bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk, saffron water, rose water and ground cardamom.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, or using a handheld mixer and a large bowl, beat the cream, starting with low speed and gradually increasing to high, until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the condensed milk mixture, then fold in the pistachios until evenly distributed.

Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf pan and smooth out the top with an offset spatula. Sprinkle with more pistachios, cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 6 to 12 hours, or until very firm.

To serve, let the loaf pan sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before scooping.

Rate it

Recipe Source

From food blogger Shadi HasanzadeNemati.

Tested by Olga Massov.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at

Avg. Rating (4)

Rate this recipe

Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 310

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 21g 32%

Saturated Fat: 12g 60%

Cholesterol: 70mg 23%

Sodium: 72mg 3%

Total Carbohydrates: 27g 9%

Dietary Fiber: 1g 4%

Sugar: 25g

Protein: 5g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

Most Read Lifestyle