Buttermilk ice-cream with dried fruit compote

Buttermilk ice-cream with dried fruit compote

Mark Roper

Iranians are big consumers of dairy products – milk, cream, yoghurt and buttermilk are all enjoyed regularly. Buttermilk is not quite as well known in the West, but its faint sour tang makes for a light and refreshing ice-cream. We serve it here as a delicate accompaniment to an autumnal spiced fruit compote. Most of these dried and candied fruits are available from Middle Eastern stores or good providores.


Quantity Ingredient
250ml thickened cream
150g caster sugar
6 egg yolks
250ml buttermilk

Dried fruit compote

Quantity Ingredient
250g caster sugar
250ml water
1/2 cinnamon stick
2 cloves
4 cardamom pods
1 long strip orange peel, all pith removed
1 small strip lime peel, all pith removed
4cm piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
6 slices dried apple
6 slices dried pear
6 small dried wild figs
1 candied clementine, finely diced
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup golden raisins
6 fresh dates, pitted
60g shelled walnuts, coarsely chopped


  1. To make the ice-cream, combine the cream and half the sugar in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat and bring to a simmer.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks and the remaining sugar in an electric mixer until the sugar has dissolved. With the motor running, slowly pour the hot cream mixture onto the egg mixture and whisk until well combined. Pour the custard mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over a low heat for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain into a bowl and allow to cool. When cool, stir in the buttermilk and refrigerate until cold.
  3. Tip the cold custard into an ice-cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a plastic container and freeze for up to 3 days.
  4. To make the dried fruit compote, combine the sugar and water in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
  5. When the syrup is clear, add the spices and citrus peels, then increase the heat and bring to a boil. Add the ginger, apple, pear, figs, clementine, currants and golden raisins and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and gently stir in the dates and walnuts. Leave to cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use. The compote will keep for up to a week.
  7. Serve the compote at room temperature, or gently warmed through, with the buttermilk ice-cream.
Middle Eastern
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