This ice cream is so wonderful it deserved to be sandwiched between fresh buttery shortbread cookies, rolled in nuts, and devoured with abandon.
Green Cardamom is an amazing thing. From Swedish Buns to curry, it easily moves between savory and sweet. Simply crushing green cardamom pods releases an intoxicating scent that is magical. Infuse them into dairy and you’ve got fabulous ice cream.
Not sure about cardamom?
For a more subtle flavor use fewer pods and skip adding more pods after cooking the base.
Is OK to use leftover pods?
Yes! If you used the seeds in something else and have a bunch of empty pods go for it! You’ll need to increase the number of pods and might want to let them steep longer after warming in the dairy.
Fragrant green cardamom ice cream is sandwiched between fresh, buttery almond shortbread cookies then rolled in pistachios for an unforgettable twist on ice cream sandwiches! Easy to make and as a bonus, the whole kitchen will smell incredible.
CARDAMOM ICE CREAM
400g (1 ¾ cups) whole milk
310g (1½ cups) heavy cream
150g (¾ cup) sugar
30-50 cardamom pods (see note)
6g tapioca starch
50g (¼ cup) organic light corn syrup
80g (about 4-ish) egg yolks
180g (6 ½ oz) butter, room temperature
125g (½ cup) sugar
1 egg yolk
¼ tsp almond extract
300g (1¾ cup) all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
80g (¾ cup) raw almonds finely chopped or ground
chopped nuts – pistachios, almonds
chopped bits of candied orange
Crack open the cardamom pods. Combine milk, cream, sugar, and 25 cracked pods in a saucepan. Warm over medium heat, stirring to make sure sugar is dissolved until just too hot to touch (do not let it boil!). Take the mixture off the heat, cover, and let it steep for an hour.
Make an ice bath and set aside. Have a clean bowl and a fine mesh strainer standing by.
Add the remaining ingredients to the mixture, whisking to remove any lumps. Cook over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes until bubbles start forming around the edges but do not let it come to a full rolling boil. Keep stirring the mixture while it cooks.
Once it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, pour through a fine-mesh strainer into the bowl that is standing by. Add in remaining cracked cardamom pods.
Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours or ideally overnight. Strain out pods before processing in your ice cream maker When it reaches the consistency of soft-serve ice cream (about 20-30 minutes on most machines), spread evenly into an 8″ x 8″ pan lined with parchment paper and freeze 4 hours minimum.
In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high until very pale yellow (about 5 minutes) Beat in egg yolk, and extract. Reduce the mixer speed and slowly add in flour, almonds, and salt. Mix until just combined. The dough should hold together when squeezed. If it’s too dry and crumbly, slowly beat in a little water (no more than 1 tsp at a time)*
Dump the loose dough on a piece of parchment paper, squish it together and flatten. Roll out dough to ⅛ inch. Refrigerate dough for 25 min.
Cut out shapes and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet (scrapes can be mushed together and rerolled). Chill shapes for 15 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 350F Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes (start checking at around 10 minutes) Cookies are done when very lightly golden on the edges. Cool completely.
Grab the parchment paper and remove the frozen ice cream from the pan. Using the same cookie cutter as for the shortbread, cut out circles of ice cream, working quickly to get them back into the freezer. If at any time the block of ice cream starts to get too soft, put it back into the freezer for a few minutes to firm up. Feel free to skip this step if you’re not into the aesthetics, you can also simply take a scoop of ice cream and sandwich between two cookies. Delicious either way.
Line up the cookies in pairs. Take out the frozen circles of ice cream and sandwhich between cookies. Now is the time to roll the sammies in chopped nuts, sprinkles or whatever works for you. Devour immediately or wrap in plastic and freeze.
Finely chopped almonds will give the cookies a more rustic look and texture. Ground almonds will result in a cookie with a fine crumb.
If adding water to the shortbread dough, better too little than too much. It doesn’t take a lot. You can always sprinkle a few drops on the dough while rolling it out if it won’t hold together
cardamom pods – the longer the pods steep in the milk/sugar mixture the stronger the flavor. Adding fresh pods to the cooked base after straining will boost the flavor further – skip this step for a more subtle flavor profile.