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coffee ice cream seeds

Turkish Coffee Ice Cream

This Turkish Coffee ice cream, deeply flavored with espresso and cardamom, is a cinch to make. You don’t even need an ice cream maker. Ten minutes of easy effort and you’re done. (But, yes, you do have to wait for it to freeze. Call us sadists.)

Adapted from Diana Henry | How to Eat a Peach | Mitchell Beazley, 2018

This caffeinated ice cream is reminiscent of the intense cardamom-laced coffee served in Istanbul. While we’re smitten with the taste, we’re also quite fond of the fact that it requires just 10 minutes of effort and no ice cream maker. And yet the results would have you think someone slaved over it for hours.–Angie Zoobkoff

Turkish Coffee Ice Cream

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  • ▢ 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • ▢ 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • ▢ 10 cardamom pods* shells discarded and seeds ground
  • ▢ 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • ▢ 3/4 cup canned sweetened condensed milk


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*What if I don’t have green cardamom pods?

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Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Irene Seales

Absolutely thumbs up winner. This is perhaps the simplest ice cream recipe I’ve ever made yet one of the most satisfying.

I’d like to say I have a bit of experience making coffee ice creams, if only because they outnumber all my other flavors. The cardamom comes through as a wonderfully integrated part of the taste—not screaming a single spice as much as making it so much more well-rounded than just coffee. Although the sweetness is something you can’t really adjust since it comes from the sweetened condensed milk, it works perfectly, especially when completely frozen (don’t judge it by tasting before freezing as it will probably come across as oversweet, but the cooler temperature will change that).

I actually did use an ice cream maker (not a fancy one—just an ordinary Cusinart model where you freeze the bowl beforehand). After 20 minutes of churning, it was at a nice, firm soft-serve consistency but after 2 to 3 hours in the freezer, it was perfect. I didn’t think it needed to sit out 20 minutes and would suggest 5 to 10 minutes before scooping. This is going to make a killer affogato that you can scoop ahead and pop back in the freezer while you pull your espresso shots.

Makes a perfect small batch. This recipe is one of the simplest, yet most rewarding, ice creams I have made. Honestly, this is an 11!

Elizabeth and Lena Alvarez

This Turkish coffee ice cream is fantastic, easy to put together, and the consistency is creamy and wonderfully rich. The dessert has a deep coffee flavor and the cardamom is simply divine and was greatly appreciated by our passionate coffee-ice-cream-loving testers.

Removing the cardamom seeds from the pods and smashing them in a mortar takes less than 5 minutes. Letting the spice steep in the coffee takes another 10 minutes. Whipping the cream and condensed milk took less than 2 minutes with an immersion blender. So you’ll have the ice cream in the freezer in less than 20 minutes, although hands-on time is even less than that.

The big “wait” is letting the mixture freeze, which took about 5 hours to achieve a proper firm consistency.

What to do with the extra sweetened condensed milk from the can? We added the remaining heavy cream from the pint and made another infusion of instant coffee, this time with cinnamon instead of cardamom, and froze that, too.

Coffee ice cream seeds

Roasted Coffee Bean Ice Cream recipe by Season with Spice
Makes about 1 liter

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup of your favorite coffee beans (I used Kun Kee’s The Salute Brand 海军牌 coffee beans)
1/4 cocoa powder
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup raw sugar
1/4 tsp gelatin
1 tsp of vanilla bean paste (or 1 tsp of vanilla extract)

1. Add the cream, milk, and coffee beans into a small pot. Heat on medium-low, stirring occasionally with a heat resistant plastic spatula, until small bubbles appear along the edges (but don’t let it boil). Should be about 10 minutes. Then turn heat off, cover, and let sit for 30-60 minutes, depending on how strong you want the coffee flavor.

2. Heat up the mixture in the small pot for a few minutes until warm again. Then in a bowl, whisk together sugar, egg yolks, and gelatin. Add a quarter of the mixture from the pot into the bowl, while constantly whisking (to prevent the eggs from cooking). Then repeat with another quarter of the mix. Finally, pour everything in the bowl back into the pot, while stirring with the plastic spatula.

3. Return the pot to the stove and heat on medium-low, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Without allowing it to boil, heat until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (or if you have a cooking thermometer – when it reaches 160F to pasteurize the eggs). Should take about 10 minutes. Turn heat off and let sit for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

4. Layer the bottom of a large bowl with ice cubes, and set a small metal bowl inside. Pour mixture through a strainer into the small, metal bowl.* Stir in vanilla paste or extract.

5. Stir mixture occasionally to help cool faster. Once cool (should take about 10-15 minutes), transfer mixture into a plastic airtight container, and place in refrigerator overnight.

6. On the following day, pour the mixture into the ice cream machine and churn. Transfer the ice cream into a plastic container, lay plastic wrap directly on top of ice cream and press down gently (to prevent ice crystals from forming on top of the ice cream), and seal with airtight cover. Set freezer temperature to the coldest setting, so the ice cream freezes faster.

* The used coffee beans can be rinsed clean and kept for many different purposes. For example, place the beans in a bowl and keep it in the refrigerator to get rid of any odors. Or grind the beans up and add to the compost pile for your garden (high levels of nitrogen in the beans will help enrich the soil)