Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Paklava ice cream! An artisinal creation worth the price

Paklava ice cream!
Artisinal foods are all the rage in New York City these days. You see the signs (literally, signs) everywhere.

I was a little perplexed by this during our summer visit with our daughter Mandy. Artisinal is just a fancy way of saying something was made by the hand of someone with special skill.

It's kind of a hoity-toity way of distinguishing the good stuff from factory-produced food, but what's new other than the name? Any decent, neighborhood restaurant or bakery seems to fit the bill -- but slap an "artisinal" label on just about anything and it seems you can really bump up the price.

Without going out of our way, we encountered (and consumed) artisinal bread, artisinal beer, artisinal pickles (!) and even artisinal doughnuts -- all of which were fine but nothing to write home (or even a blog item) about.

Then we encountered artisinal ice cream from an outfit with the amusing name of Melt Bakery at a street fair on the Lower East Side.

Standing beside heat-resistant mock-ups of their creations in a shaded kiosk at Seward Park, Kareem Hamady and Julian Plyter looked more like contestants on Top Chef than Good Humor Men.

Their ice-cream sandwiches all looked great, the baked part being outer layers of chocolate chip cookies or brownies or...pakhlava!

Although Plyter is the pastry chef, the fillo concoction was Hamady's idea
-- and appropriately named The Kareem.

Not only was it a great idea, it was impressively executed. The baked dough, drizzled with rose-water syrup, yielded gently to the bite so that the ice cream didn't squirt out the sides.

Beneath the dough was a layer of crushed pistachio nuts -- and inside, a generous filling of very rich pistachio ice cream.

These were high-quality ingredients, and the result tasted great. Considering what Ben & Jerry charge, Kareem and Julian's creation was definitely worth the $4.

The portion size was generous, too -- easily sharable, although Robyn was absent so I was forced to eat the entire thing myself. Anything less would have been unfair to you, the readers.


  1. Oh, this is a spectacular idea. I'm so thrilled that you found it and shared it with us. I am going to make these for my next party; home made ice cream AND pakhlava. I wonder how it would be with a walnut and cinnamon ice cream instead of pistachio. Now you've got me thinking!

  2. Yum! After you make it, I'd love to know how it turns out.

  3. you made me smile with your last sentence; thank you for eating the ice-cream Robyn and letting us benefit from your discovery. It is indeed a fantastic idea, one that I would support 100% . Need to spread the work about these ice-cream talented men.

  4. Sadly, I did not get to sample this luscious treat; Doug ate it all by himself! He said he thought of me with every bite, however.

  5. Thank you for such divine inspiration! I made paklava ice cream sandwiches for a dinner party last night and it went down a treat. I made mine with pecan nuts and cinnamon w rose water & cardamom syrup with pecan cinnamon ice cream! Yum. There wasn't a skerrick left on anyone's plates! Thanks again.