Sahlep homemade ice-cream

Sahlep homemade ice-cream

I have had in my possession an old patisserie cookbook for more 20 years. This book was used by bakery store taking into consideration that the recipes were adapted for very large amounts. Nevertheless, this did not make me lose interest in it. One day I was reading through its pages (I do that with all my cookbooks) and I stopped to the ice-cream chapter. Fortunately the recipes were for 1 kg of ice-cream, which is ok for homemade ice-creams, right? There was this particular recipe that drove my attention, the one I’m sharing with you today – Sahlep Homemade Ice-cream.

I had bought sahlep in Korça few months ago and besides using it as a hot drink in winter I did not think that there was any other recipe I could make with it, until now. From the feedback I’d received I’ve learned that Sahlep ice-cream was a Turkish recipe (yeah of course, I should have guessed it, we do have a lot of Turkish influence in our cuisine).

I have tested the recipe both with ice-cream machine and without it, just to see if it did freeze well and it turned out that both ways were fine. So you do not necessarily need an ice-cream machine for this one.

My baby girl insisted that she wanted popsicles, so I’ve made three ways Sahlep ice-cream, using the ice-cream maker, using Ice popsicles and just freeze it in a loaf tin.

The first paragraphs written in the cookbook were related to the basic ingredients that are used in ice-cream making and how to freeze it.

Ice-cream is just frozen custard made of egg yolks, sugar and milk & cream and other ingredients are added in order to flavour it. The perfect creamy ice-cream needs the right amount of sugar and fat, too much sugar it won’t freeze well, too much fat makes it very thick, so making homemade ice-cream isn’t always easy as following a recipe.

There are two ways of freezing an ice-cream, the fancy one using an ice-cream machine and an old-fashioned one using ice, salt, a metallic tub and a big wood barrel (where the metallic tub will sit in)

The second way was very interesting and I’m sharing it as following:

Fill the barrel halfway with ice cubes and rock salt. Put the cold metallic tub in it and fill the sides (between the barrel and the tub)  with more ice and salt. Add the cold custard in it and start stirring constantly with a wooden spatula. Stirring process should be done constantly so no ice chunks will form on the sides of the bowl. After some minutes (ok, maybe half an hour) you should see that the ice-cream is starting to freeze. Cover the tub with a metallic cap and cover it with more ice cubes and salt. Let it freeze for about 2-3 hours adding ice constantly and the ice-cream is done.

Now, back to our recipe, you can choose to make it with the old-fashioned way, ice popsicles, using the machine or just freeze the custard in a loaf tin. It’s your choice.

Serving: 1 kg ice-cream

Cooking time: preparation 25 minutes, overnight cooling custard and 4 hours freezing


  • 612 gr milk
  • 201 gr sugar
  • 5 gr butter
  • 7 gr sahlep powder
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until foamy and until the mixture is light yellowish in colour.
  2. Warm the milk and butter in a saucepan, but do not let it come to a boil.
  3. Add the warm milk to the egg mixture stirring constantly so the eggs won’t bake. Add at once the sahlep and stir vigorously.
  4. Place the ice cream base to the saucepan and cook on low heat until thick and creamy (about 2 minutes). Remember you should always stir.
  5. Turn of the heat and pass the custard though a mesh sieve in order to retain grainy parts of the custard and let it cool in the fridge overnight.
  6. The next day freeze the custard with one of the ways I’ve described above and let it freeze for a minimum of 4 hours. If you choose to freeze it in a bread loaf tin, you should cover the surface with a plastic wrap so ice crystals won’t form.

For the ice popsicles I’ve added some blackberries for extra flavour, and of course you can add cinnamon too. Sahlep and Cinnamon are combination to die for  ( No pictures here because those were devoured by my daughter)

PS: I took the photos in 41 degrees Celsius, so the ice-cream started to melt quickly, so sorry

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