Makes about 1 quart

This rich ice cream, adapted from one by Alice B. Toklas, is a sublime combination of honey, pistachios and roasted almonds, ingredients of the classic nougat candy made in the South of France. Honey and orange flower water combine to give it a haunting, ethereal flavor.


  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon orange flower or lime blossom honey
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange flower water
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachio nuts
  • 1/3 cup blanched whole almonds

In a medium saucepan, over moderately low heat, bring the milk and 1/2 cup of the cream to a boil. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Whisk about half of the hot milk mixture into the yolks then pour this mixture back into the saucepan. Whisking constantly, cook over low heat, until the custard becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon; do not allow to boil. Strain through a fine sieve into a medium bowl. Whisk in the honey and the sugar until they are completely dissolved. Then whisk in the remaining cream and the orange flower water. Chill, preferably 24 hours.

While the mixture is chilling, toast the nuts. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the pistachios on a baking sheet and roast until they are fragrant and barely tinged with brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. On another baking sheet, roast the almonds until they are golden brown and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the almonds dry out about 25 minutes. Cool. Chop the nuts coarsely.

Freeze the custard in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Fold in the chopped pistachio nuts and almonds.

Copyright 2003 by Sally Schneider