Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dondurma - Turkish Ice

Ramadan mubarek!  Ramadan ended yesterday, Kuwait is in the throes of Eid celebrations and the weather is slowly beginning its turn to the pleasantness of a desert fall.  However, while Seth and I can enjoy a night outside, watching the waves, it's still hot enough to send us back to the A/C in about 15 minutes. Still, this weather makes me want something cold, but not just a chilled soda - something with substance. Not ice cream -- too rich and I have never been much of a fan, plus I don't own an ice cream maker.  I could make a granita - I have before - but they don't do it for me - too icy, too crunchy, too blech. Fortunately I was browsing through one of my cookbooks the other day and found a recipe for Turkish dondurma.  The picture looked just like the Italian ice in little cups sold by the ice cream truck and was just what I wanted: cold, tart, refreshing, yet delectably soft and easy.

It only took me half a day to make this (freezing times included), which makes a fairly quick frozen dessert in my book. I was worried that the ice would harden overnight, much like granitas, but I was surprised at how soft it remained.  Soft and delicious.  I used limes because I had them, though the original recipe calls for lemons.  Either choice is worth the effort.

 Dondurma Limonlu
from The Complete Middle East Cookbook, by Tess Mallos

4 lemons (or limes)
3cups water
1cup granulated sugar
1 egg white

1. Wash lemons and peel rind thinly so that there is little or no pith.
2. Put rind in a pan with water and slowly bring to the boil. Boil uncovered for 10 minutes. Strain into a large measuring cup and discard rind. If necessary make up liquid to 2 cups with water and return to pan.
3. Add sugar to pan and dissolve over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Bring to the boil and boil on medium heat for 5 minutes.  Remove pan from heat and allow to cool completely.
4. Juice lemons and strain.  Measure 3/4 cup juice and add to cooled syrup.  Pour into a bowl and place in freezer.  Leave until half frozen, then stir well to break up ice crystals.
5. Beat egg white until stiff.  Blend thoroughly into half frozen syrup.  Return to freezer and leave until just firm.
6. Remove from freezer and beat well until smooth and light.
7. Pour into a loaf cake pan, cover with foil and freeze until very firm - about 3 hours or longer.
8. To serve, draw a metal spoon or ice cream scoop across the dondurma and place the flaky curls into chilled sweet glasses.  You could also spoon it straight into your mouth.

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