Syrian Ice Cream (Éma’a)
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: About 10 cups
This unique ice cream has a taffy-like consistency, creamy texture, subtly floral aroma, and nuttiness from its pistachio coating.
  • 9 cups plus ¼ cup whole milk, divided
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 medium pieces (about ¼ teaspoon) mastic gum (also called Arabic gum)
  • 2½ cups sugar
  • 5 teaspoons sahlab
  • ¾ teaspoon rose water
  • Chopped pistachios, for serving
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together ¼ cup milk with the sahlab; set aside.
  2. Grind the mastic into a powder; the best way to do this is to put the mastic between 2 pieces of parchment paper or inside a plastic bag and pound it with a heavy object, such as a rolling pin.
  3. Add the remaining 9 cups of milk, the cream, and the mastic to a large pot over medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  4. Once boiling, slowly whisk in the sugar and bring back up to a boil, stirring constantly. Whisk in the sahlab mixture and boil vigorously 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and add the rose water.
  5. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until well chilled, about 4 to 6 hours.
  6. Transfer the chilled mixture to an ice cream machine and process according to the manufacturer’s directions.
  7. Once processed, put the ice cream in a freezer-safe bowl and transfer to the freezer to set.
  8. Serve topped with chopped pistachios.
Recipe by An Edible Mosaic™ at