Turkish ice-cream (dondurma)

Turkish ice-cream (dondurma)


  • 3 g mastic beads (see note)
  • 65 g (⅓ cup) salep mixture (see note)
  • 750 ml (3 cups) milk
  • 250 ml (1 cup) pouring cream
  • 165 g (¾ cup) caster sugar
  • ground cinnamon and finely chopped pistachios, to serve


Makes 1 litre
Drink match Peter Rumball Sparkling Shiraz ($20) or Grant Burge Sparkling Red ($24)

You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead.

Freeze mastic beads for 15 minutes, then using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, finely grind with a pinch of sugar.

Whisk salep mixture with 125 ml (½ cup) milk until dissolved. Set aside.

Heat remaining 625 ml (2½ cups) milk and cream in a large saucepan over low–medium heat. Whisk in mastic until combined, then add salep mixture. Using a ladle, scoop some of the cream mixture, then from a height, pour back into the pan in a continuous motion; this ‘stretches’ the mixture. Repeat, stirring constantly, to prevent the mixture burning, for 20 minutes or until thickened. (If you prefer a denser, chewier ice-cream, cook for an additional 20 minutes). Transfer to a bowl, cover the surface closely with plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming and cool completely.

Churn mixture in an ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions until almost frozen.

Meanwhile, lightly grease a 1 litre loaf pan, then line with plastic wrap, leaving 5 cm overhanging. Pour mixture into pan, cover with overhanging wrap and freeze overnight.

To serve, remove ice-cream from freezer 5 minutes beforehand. Turn out onto a board and, working quickly, cut into 3 cm slices and divide among plates. Dust with cinnamon and scatter with pistachios to serve.

• Mastic is the resinous sap from the mastic tree, which is native to Greece. It is available from selected delis and specialist spice shops.
• Salep mixture is from selected delis.

Cook’s notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

This recipe originally appeared at SBS.


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