I based this dessert, on a cream my mother used to make in Cyprus called Paris on Ice, which was flavoured with masticha (mastic resin). For those of you who are not familiar with the mastic resin, it is an evergreen shrub or small tree of the Pistacio family growing up to 4 m (13 ft) tall, which is cultivated for its aromatic resin on the Greek island of Chios. The word mastic derives from the Greek verb mastichein (“to gnash the teeth”, origin of the English word masticate) or massein (“to chew”). You may read more about masticha here.
For reasons that are not entirely understood, only the trees in the southern part of the island of Chios produce the distinctively flavoured resin. The island’s mastic production is controlled by a co-operative of villages, collectively known as the ‘Mastichochoria’, which are also located in the southern part of Chios.
Within the European Union, Mastic spice production in Chios is granted protected designation of origin (PDO) and a protected geographical indication (PGI) name.
Back to the recipe. The only thing I remembered about the recipe was that it was made with evaporated milk, gelatine and almonds and it was flavoured with masticha. The name is a bit strange and have no idea why it was named Paris on Ice. I presume the word ice was used because it is refrigerated and because the cream is white.
I tried to find the recipe but unfortunately I had no luck in a google search. I decided to recreate it on what I remembered and half way through, although this cream brought back nice memories as my mum used to make it. When the cream set she used to make a strawberry or cherry jelly and put it on top until the jelly would set as well.
We used to love this dessert when we were kids so I recreated my own recipe and giving it my own twist and I must admit it did remind me of that dessert but the addition of whipped cream, mixed with yoghurt and whipping the cream twice, gave it the airy feeling of a mousse.
Note: This dessert is characterized by the flavour of evaporated milk, so it is preferable that you do not substitute with other milk.
Paris on Ice Masticha Yoghurt Dessert, recipe by Ivy
- 2 cups of water
- 10 gelatin sheets
- 1 can 410 gr evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup blanched almonds, finely chopped
- 8 – 10 mastic gum tears pounded with ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 heavy cream (35% – 250 ml)
- 2 -3 spoonfuls of icing sugar
- A few drops of Vanilla essence
- 250 grams strained Greek yoghurt
- Dissolve gelatine sheets with cold water until soft.
- In a pot add the water, evaporated milk and bring to boil. Add the gelatine, mixing until it dissolves.
- Remove from the heat and set aside until it cools. Refrigerate until it sets.
- Meantime blanch the almonds and cut in smaller pieces by hand or in the food processor.
- Pound the mastic resins with sugar and mix with the almonds.
- Prepare the whipping cream. Whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla essence and when peaks form, add the yoghurt, mx and refrigerate.
- Combine both creams and with the hand mixer whisk until fluffy and creamy and mix in the almonds and whisk until combined.
- Refrigerate for a couple of hours again until it sets.
Serve with your favourite spoon sweet on top.
You may also serve it with:
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,