Jun 1, 2014

Greek yoghurt and honey ice cream

Summertime always means getting the ice cream maker out. Our old flat had a great sun-drenched front step and many afternoons were spent trying out different flavours on friends. Some of my favourites use things we grew on that front step- thyme leaves, rosemary blossom, lavender- gently diffused in the milk for the custard these fragrant herbs create a refreshing treat.

back to the roots

Unsurprisingly given the amount of yoghurt consumption in our household, I’ve tested a few frozen yoghurt recipes over the years, but they always come out too hard or overly frozen- the flavour is good but the texture is not there. The alternative of making a custard-based yoghurt ice cream usually means you lose the tart fresh flavour. So I was excited to see a simple and promising recipe in Maria Elia’s new cookbook Smashing Plates.

I think you only need one greek cookery book really to cover all your bases but Elia’s book is a rare find in succeeding to bring a contemporary aesthetic to traditional Greek and Greek Cypriot dishes. There are some great variations on classic dishes: I’m excited about fennel tzatziki, quince skordalia, sheftalia meatballs with pine needles, pickled pigeon; I’m even tempted by the fig leaf pasta (the first and last time I made pasta four years ago I swore I’d never do it again).

a classic on ice

I am always on the lookout for easy ice cream recipes that I can whip up without the custard base/ ice bath steps. Sometimes life is just not accommodating to that many steps to make a sweet treat. For Maria’s recipe I cut the sugar in half (I find I can do this with most ice cream recipes) and added some honey I picked up at a market in Istanbul.

Greek yoghurt and honey ice cream adapted from Maria Elia’s Smashing Plates

Mix all ingredients except yoghurt, walnuts and honey in a big glass bowl, or use a handheld electric whizzer. Add the yoghurt and mix thoroughly. Taste for sweetness and add some honey if you want it sweeter.

Chill thoroughly and churn in your ice cream maker according to instructions. When it is nearly done, add the walnuts then decant to a freezer proof container. Drizzle the honey over the top of the container and gently swirl through so it stays as a ripple.

Serves: makes about 750g container

Cooking/Prep time: 15 min prep/ 15-25 min churning


  • about 400g greek or turkish full fat yoghurt
  • 200 ml heavy cream
  • 50g soft brown sugar or caster sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 150g roasted chopped walnuts
  • 2-4 tbsp aromatic runny honey


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