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Jaggery Ice Cream Recipe

This jaggery ice cream—made with molasses-like unrefined sugar—is excellent on its own, but is a great canvas for any and all seasonal flavors. Top with with sweet or salty nuts, sliced persimmons or quince, or more rendered jaggery.
Jaggery Ice Cream Recipe
Photo by Wes Rowe.

Servings: Makes about 1 ½ quarts of ice cream
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 2 ½ hours


1 ¼ cups jaggery
9 large egg yolks
2 ½ cups|591 ml heavy cream
2 cups|473 ml whole milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
kosher salt
½ cup walnuts
olive oil
2 Fuyu persimmons


Chef's note: Jaggery is unrefined sugar from South Asia. It tastes like rough molasses and smells like agricole rum. You find it in Indian and Pakistani stores—it comes in different shape blocks and a range of color. I usually like the darkest and strongest smelling ones.

  1. To make the jaggery syrup, bring the jaggery and 5 tablespoons water to a full boil. Cook over medium-high until the jaggery dissolves completely and thickens up a little bit, and you see evenly sized bubbles all over the surface. Let cool slightly. Most of the syrup will be added to the ice cream, but reserve a few tablespoons for drizzling when you serve it.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks until they're smooth.
  3. Pour the cream into a bowl and get your straining setup ready, because you're going to need to move quickly at the end of this next part. You'll need a rubber spatula and a fine-mesh strainer set over the bowl of ice cream.
  4. In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat up the milk, sugar, and ½ teaspoon salt to almost a simmer.
  5. Whisk a ladleful of the milk and sugar mixture into the yolks to temper them and then whisk the tempered yolks back into the rest of the milk and sugar mixture. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom, until the liquid thickens slightly. Look for steam rising to the surface; this happens in a couple of minutes, or when the liquid reaches 170º F. Add a ladleful or two of custard to the jaggery syrup to temper. Stir well, then pour the tempered jaggery mixture back into the custard.
  6. Give it a stir and then strain the custard directly into the cream. Stir, then refrigerate until completely cold, at least 2 hours. Freeze the ice cream according to the directions on your machine.
  7. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast them until they are a shade darker, about 8 minutes. Once they are cool, taste to make sure they are crunchy. If not, pop them back in the oven for a little longer. Rub off the skins with a towel and toss them with a small amount of olive oil and a pretty good sprinkle of salt. Peel the persimmons and cut them into wedges. Scoop the ice cream into bowls. Set a few persimmons wedges next to the ice cream scoops, sprinkle with walnuts, and drizzle with the reserved jaggery syrup.

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