This ice cream is all about balance: heady saffron, floral honey, and bittersweet orange zest. Use a light honey that won't overpower the other ingredients such as acacia, alfalfa, or orange blossom. Only use saffron threads, not powdered saffron; the latter is often cut with other spices like turmeric.
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- Yield:makes 1 quart
- Active time: 45 minutes
- Total time:45 minutes plus several hours to overnight chill
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup light honey (recommended: acacia, alfalfa, or orange blossom)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly orange zest from 1 orange
In a heavy medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks, honey, and sugar until thoroughly combined. Whisk in cream, milk, and salt, then cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until a custard forms on the back of a spoon but a finger swiped across it leaves a clean line, about 170°F.
Pour through a strainer into an airtight container and stir in saffron and orange zest. Cover and chill in refrigerator until custard drops to 40°F, 4 hours to overnight.
Churn custard according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer ice cream to airtight container and chill in freezer for at least 4 to 5 hours before serving.