Today I’m sharing Vanilla Ice Cream with Mastic, Meringue, Caramel Almond Brittle and Dried Fruit or an improved version of Cassata, an Italian ice cream flavor found on the streets of Syria.
This is the perfect summertime treat. Vanilla ice cream is enhanced with textures of caramel almond brittle and chopped mini meringues. The mastic and crystallized ginger are a lovely combination with the vanilla, and dried cranberries and apricots are an added bonus.
There’s this ice cream flavor found on the streets of Syria called Cassata, which is a traditional Sicilian dessert. Some versions are similar to Neapolitan ice cream, and others combine vanilla ice cream with dried fruit and nuts. My father-in-law says that most famous place in Aleppo for Cassata is Tony Stick, where they slice the ice cream and dip it in a thick dark chocolate coating. It sounds delicious to me, but it’s not really a favorite amongst the kids. According to my husband it’s the “worst thing in the world, they ruined vanilla ice cream.” My mom says, “It’s fine, but it has an unknown bitter taste.”
This sweet frozen delight has a hint of Cassata but only way better. The varying textures and bursts of flavors are so addicting, I guarantee it’s going to become a summertime staple. The mastic in this is totally optional, but I really like the added dimension. It comes together super quickly by mixing your favorite vanilla ice cream with all the fillings. I’m sure it would also taste delicious with a dark chocolate sauce!
I really hope you give this recipe a try! If you do, don’t forget to tag @omayahatassi and #omayahcooks on Instagram. Can’t wait to see your creations!
Vanilla Ice Cream with Mastic, Meringue, Caramel Almond Brittle and Dried Fruit (Cassetta)
A delicious bomb of flavors and textures! Your favorite vanilla ice cream is combined with caramel almond brittle, meringue, crystalized ginger, and dried apricots and cranberries. Mastic, a piney spice that comes from the resin of a tree, is optional.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5-7 minutes
1 c sugar
3/4 c almonds, toasted lightly
2 pints of your favorite vanilla ice cream
1 c mini meringues, chopped
1/2 c crystallized ginger, chopped
1/2 c dried apricots, chopped
1/4 c dried cranberries
1 tsp smashed mastic
- Place a piece of parchment on a surface, about 13 inches long. Mix the sugar with 1/4 c of water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Continue mixing until sugar completely dissolves. Stop stirring and all the sugar mixture to boil, scraping the sides every once in awhile. All the caramel to reach a deep amber. Remove from heat, add almonds and immediately pour onto the parchment. Allow to cool and harden.
- Empty the 2 pints of ice cream into a large bowl. Chop the brittle, reserving some for garnish. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Empty into a silicone loaf pan or a plastic-lined metal loaf pan. Place in the freezer until frozen, about 2 hours. Pop it out of the container, flip and remove the plastic to serve in slices, or scoop out of the container. Best within 1 week.