The first time I had the pleasure of trying dondurma I was in university in Chicago. A Turkish festival was being held right across the street from my school and my friends and I went over to check it out as soon as class was over. My friend Trae who had lived in Turkey for years told me that I had to try the ice-cream because it was something different and intriguing. She was right and from that day forward dondurma has been a treat I held dear unfortunately it’s very rare to find anywhere else in the world. In Lebanon and Syria they also make this exact ice-cream although it’s called a different name.
2 mastic balls, frozen for 5 minutes
1/3 cup ground salep
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
ground cinnamon, for topping
1. With a mortar carefully grind mastic until ground, set aside.
2. In a small bowl add cream, salep and vanilla, whisk until blended and set aside.
3. In a 4-quart saucepan on low-medium heat add milk, mastic and salep mixture. Whisk until combined then add sugar, mixing well.
4. Continuing whisking the mixture so the milk does not stick to the pan but also use a ladle to scoop and pour mixture back into pan. This will stretch the mix. Continue doing these two things non-top for 25 minutes.
5. In an 8x8inch baking square baking pan line with plastic wrap, carefully pour hot mixture into pan. Cover with another piece of plastic wrap and place into freezer. Every few hours, remove mixture from freezer and stir to mix up. After you do this 3-4 times cover and allow to freezer overnight.
6. The next day remove dondurma from the freezer and slice individual servings then sprinkle with ground cinnamon, serve and place remaining dondurma back into freezer.
Yields: 8 servings