Saffron Coconut Ice Cream

Saffron Coconut Ice Cream

Don’t you love a sure thing?

I’m not referring to “Sure Thing” as in the 1980’s definition of the term implying someone who can be counted on to deliver sex on a date.  Don’t get me wrong…if I recall correctly those kind of sure things could be nice too and they certainly have their place in our lives.  Or did.  Ahem.  Rather, I’m talking about those times in life when you just need a winning particular outcome and you know just the item in your arsenal guaranteed to deliver?

My college chum Stewart collects sure things.  He would be the first to admit that he doesn’t have any well rounded, in-depth knowledge of any one thing but he has managed to find ways of accessing or mastering a sure thing in all sorts of various categories where a sure thing might someday be necessary.

He has the sure thing shirt, the sure thing date itinerary, the sure thing book choice, and even the sure thing Dinner menu dish for entertaining (which he got from yours truly!). The rest of his wardrobe, library, and culinary repetoir was definitely not impressive or expansive and left little to be desired.  This is what can happen if you focus too much on developing sure things if you are not careful.

In college Stewart could always count on receiving all manner of attention with his impassioned and perfect vocal delivery of  Billy Joel’s  “She’s Always a Woman”.   It was a masterful to be sure but he worked on it with his sister, a voice coach, for several years to get it just perfect and to get it perfect he never studied any other song.  He would win every Karaoke competition he entered with it and would easily turn any date  he happened to be singing it to into a Sure Thing as long as he was not called back to sing anything else because, well,  he couldn’t sing anything else.  He could only sing that one song and it always worked.     He didn’t want to be a singer.  Just have a song that would always ‘work’.

I reconnected with Stewart when his sister recently got married and I was invited to her engagement party.     The party night was filled with great music and much dancing.  Given her profession you can imagine how talented her group of friends and associates were.  As the party wound down and Stewart’s sister had sang a song to her fiance, some of  her friends and former favored students asked to get up one by one and serenade the happy couple with a song of their own in tribute.

Finally, Stewart took his turn amid some knowing laughter.   We knew what he would sing and he knew we would love it.  Everyone always did.  It would be as if when he decided to learn it those many years ago it he knew how entirely appropriate it would be for just this kind of moment between them.

This time however he surprised us all by taking a seat himself at the piano, winking to the audience, and then proceed to not only sing the song but playing his way through the entire piece as if he were The Piano Man himself.

No one could believe it!   Stewart couldn’t play piano!  His fiancee DID know how, however, and it turns out that she had coached him through the entire piece during the entire three years that they were together!  Nobody had heard it until that night.  And it was perfect.  A sure thing.

Unknowing friends called out for an encore when he was done (the first such call of the night) but most in the audience knew it was a futile request.  He wouldn’t be playing or singing  anything else.  He couldn’t.


If you don’t have the culinary equivalent of Stewart’s various sure things you really should start collecting some.    Even the most accomplished cook needs a few showstoppers to rely on.  My culinary sure things tend to be focused on a particular audience I might be called on to ‘target’.

The sure thing you see here is frequently called on to cap off a meal prepared for the Persian side of my family.   Tossing saffron into anything intended for Persians is as much of a sure thing as there is in life.  Saffron is very delicious and very expensive so the act of using it itself shows your guests how much you value them.

Its flavor here is just sublime in this quick and easy ice cream recipe I picked up from David Lebovitz’ blog a couple of years ago.    If you are not familiar with saffron don’t be intimidated with it here.  This is a great reason to buy some and discover its mysterious pleasures.   Here it is simply delicious combined with tropical coconut flavor and palm sugar.   It yields an unexpectedly perfect end to the evening meal.  Much like my friend Stewart’s song did.

Perfect this  for yourselves, but keep it in your recipe box for those times when you are called onto entertain your Persian friends.  Its a sure thing.

What are your sure things?

Saffron Coconut Ice Cream

Saffron Coconut Ice Cream

Saffron Coconut Ice Cream

Saffron Coconut Ice Cream

Saffron Coconut Ice Cream Adapted from David Lebovitz

This is what you will need:

  • 1 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 4 ounces palm sugar, or 1/2 cup white or unrefined cane sugar or 1/4 cup white sugar – 1/3 cup brown sugar combo.
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads

This is how you make it:

  1. Add all ingredients at once to a medium-sized saucepan
  2. And bring to a very light boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove pan from heat, and transfer mixture to covered, airtight container and chill the mixture thoroughly. 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.



About Trevor Kensey

To be truthful, I don’t know what “Sis. Boom. [blog!]” means either. The name implies something explosive just happened I suppose I would like it if each post would make made a small ‘boom’ in your day or at least a fizzle. Even though a recipe is included with every post I have a hard time calling this a “food blog” or even myself a “food blogger”.

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  1. Sounds amazing, with the coconut milk! (I’m extra excited about saffron because I’m growing some this year – hope to have a harvest by Thanksgiving.)

  2. i have saffron sitting in my cupboard from…three years ago? i guess they might not be good anymore…

  3. Gah! This ice cream looks too good to wait till it’s warm again. I’m making it this weekend!

  4. The ice-cream looks delicious and your post was delightful! It’s always a sure thing that I’ll get a great read when I go to sisboomblog!

  5. Your writing is always a delight to read! This looks so much better & more appetizing than pissaladiere – oh, yeah, and it’s easier to pronounce! Truly scrumptious!

    I love how the offering of food is considered a gift in so many cultures. Have a fabulous weekend!

  6. Saffrom is my “hidden spice” because my husband hates it. My palate,however, is quite different. The flavor combo does sound delicious and your picture is pretty tempting.
    Regarding your friend, he sure has put a lot of effort into creating his perfect thing. However, it is only limited to one of each. I would rather not have “a” thing but many and variations on the many! Hope your having a great weekend.

  7. My, this “Stewart” of yours sounds almost like a savant of some kind! He must be terribly empty inside to fill himself up with sure things like Billy Joel … your ice cream, however, is as close to a true sure thing as one can get in life. It is making me wish I had put saffron in my pissaladiere.

  8. What a great party – thanks for taking us there with you! That ice cream looks divine. I can’t get over the beautiful color.

  9. Ah, now there is a worthy use for such a treasured ingredient.
    I love the element of mystery that a bit of saffron bring to a dish. Sigh. I could use a little mystery right about now.

  10. I love your blog, Trevor. Such interesting stories!! Saffron is one of my favorite spices. In ice cream? Wow! I can almost taste this exotic dessert!! Have a wonderful weekend. Big hug.

  11. Wow, this icecream looks and sounds delicious. Loved the Stewart story – he obviously got it right with his fiancee.

  12. To me…using saffron is like using lavender. Too much and you are eating perfume! And so I must admit to being a little intimidated working with it! But I love ice cream and I can only imagine what a wonderful combo saffron is with coconut. What a gorgeous color and texture!

  13. I could not figure out what all the commotion was about at my dessert table: that is until I saw the “gift”. All my lucky guests & I were very thankful for the surprise exotic treat!
    Thank you again!
    FYI, the next dinner party is in a few weeks . . . I love surprises : ) : )

  14. Anonymous says:

    Who doesn’t love a sure thing? The search for one — or many — is surely one of the premiere uses of the internet.


  15. Anonymous says:

    My mom used to make saffron rice when I was a kid. Such lovely memories.

  16. This sounds insanely delicious. Breaking out the ice cream machine tonight.

    Included a link to your blog on my latest post, love reading your blog!

  17. This was phenomenal. Easy as could be to make, and sophisticated flavors! Can see why this is a sure thing!

  18. How did I miss this gem? Great story…I’ll keep this delightful ice cream in the back of my mind for my next group of Persian guests…or when a lovely exotic ice cream would be the perfect way to cap off an evening~

  19. I wish I. Had just one musical sure thing in me. But no way will that ever happen. it’s sad really. Ohhhh well… GREG