Layered LassiPaper Chef is a fun little cooking event in the food blogosphere that Owen at Tomatilla has modeled after Iron Chef. This weekend launches Paper Chef #7, requiring participants to create a dish containing: medjool dates, honey, buttermilk and eggs. Julie at A Finger in Every Pie (oh my!) will virtually sip and taste the entries to pick out her favorite.

I ate my first medjool date only two winters ago, when my CSA box contained a little bag of them. I was wowed over and have been a huge fan ever since! Our CSA also supplies a handout of recipes with our goodies, and a recipe for a date milkshake was included that fateful week. Medjools are such the embodiment of ambrosia to me- the thought of combining them with ice cream is just too much for me to handle. However, it was with this burning desire that I approached this Paper Chef event.

My Local Flavors cookbook has a nice sounding recipe for honey ice cream that sounds wonderful (I used Poison Oak Oregon Honey for this ice cream in a nod to all the brave cooks who take on cooking with stinging nettles!), and I have seen several buttermilk ice cream recipes online which led me to combine the two ice cream ideas. I set out to make buttermilk honey ice cream with chopped medjools. And set out I did. My ice cream turned out ok, but even my sweet tooth thought this one was a bit too aggressive. The tang of the buttermilk heightens the honey flavoring which resulted in drowning out the sweet creamy dates? I had created a creamy sugar bomb!

I decided that I couldn’t ethically submit that creation to Paper Chef. Heck, even I can’t gobble it up, so back to the drawing board. This final creation combines the icey tanginess of mango lassi with the smooth sweet creaminess of honey date ice cream. The mango tartness cuts into the sweet ice cream, and the slushy consistancy of the lassi is a nice compliment to the creamy honey.

Layered Lassi Mango lassi Layered with Poison Oak Honey Date Ice Cream

Honey Date Ice Cream
Combine in a sauce pan over low heat to dissolve the honey:

  • 2/3 cup of light honey
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • one pinch of salt

While stirring, heat to just under the boiling point- when you see stream coming off the liquid’s surface. Temper four beaten egg yolks into your hot cream mixture, and continue to cook the mixture just for a minute or two, but not to boiling. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to come to room temperature. Whisk in 1 1/2 cups of whole milk. Pour this custard mixture into a lidded container and refrigerate until completely cold. Freeze the custard in an ice cream maker and stir in 6 chilled and chopped medjool dates. Transfer the ice cream to a lidded container, placing waxed paper down on the surface of the ice cream, and allow to further harden in the freezer.

Mango Lassi
In a food processor combine:

  • 1 cup of frozen mango chunks
  • a couple good gratings of whole nutmeg
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup of buttermilk, or just enough to allow the processor to grind the mango to a slushy consistency

Assemble by layering the two concoctions in a shot glass or small tumbler. Garnish with a date piece and enjoy!

Check out Tomatilla’s round up of the event!


posted June 5th, 2005 at 6:05 pm

How how I love mango lassi! You made a great save.

- Jennifer
posted June 5th, 2005 at 6:49 pm

Gosh this sounds good (although the poison oak honey worries me a little)! My first encounter with Medjool dates was this past Christmas (a small pack was included in an assortment of goodies given to me by my parents). I originally thought I might bake something with them, but after eating one I couldn’t bring myself to do anything with them other then savor them one by one all by themselves.

You know, I always wonder about the “emperor’s new clothes” factor when it comes to things like varieties of salt and varieties of honey. I’d love to do a honey tasting one day with a bunch of different varieties side by side by side. If someone is really sensitive to Poison Oak- should they avoid this type of honey, or is it ok because the bees go after the pollen (which might be less toxic?)? Given how my allergies are blooming right now- should I be staying away from honeybecause of the pollen?
Darn, I never did find a food scientist to email like I wanted?
? McAuliflower

- Cathy
posted June 6th, 2005 at 2:04 am

I would like a hot summer evening and dito curry to go with that lassi please?.

- KitchenQueen Tai
posted June 6th, 2005 at 8:41 am

Have you heard about the link between honey and allergy relief? You can search for it on the web and see lots of information, but the gist is that the homeopathic community believes that if you can eat local, fresh honey that is from the area where you live (as close as possible), then it can help your allergies. I have no idea what the thinking is, but it probably has to do with exposing yourself to the pollen ? kind of like antibiotics.

It seems like I am hearing about this from more sources every day.

Here’s a link from my local honey provider:

Cool- I’ll have to look into it. The Willamette Valley (where I am) is the grass seed capital of the world and is known to be killer in regards to striking people down with allergies. Only after living here for 10 years did I start to develop allergies? so in my case it seems exposure to the pollen is what did me under :(
? McAuliflower

- jen
posted June 6th, 2005 at 9:58 am

yum ? that looks fantastic! never did it occur to me that one could make something *drinkable* out of the paper chef ingredients. by the way, do you think the ice cream would be good with a little less honey?

The honey ice cream recipe I have posted here is revised form my original efforts? my first batch was 2/3 c honey with 1 cup cream, 1 cup milk- good, but wayyyy to sweet! I like the levels of the revised recipe- but I have also seen recipes that use half regular sugar, half honey. I think that would also work as honey in itself is a strong flavor.

A fun recipe I’d like to try sometime this summer is honey lavender ice cream, as long as the lavender isn’t too strong.


- Melissa
posted June 7th, 2005 at 8:00 am

Oh what a perfect use for these wonderful little marvels. Dates grow in the desert and too combine them with some lovely mango and a cold icy cream! It is not only a taste delight, but visually as well! Great entry.

- chronicler
posted June 7th, 2005 at 10:02 am

I’ve also heard from many sources that eating local honey protects you somewhat from allergies. It makes sense to me ? it is made from nectar/pollen that is causing the allergies. So I always try to buy real local honey. Not that I have to anymore. We have a very good friend living nearby who is a beekeeper. She brings plenty of honey gifts ? so she gets invited a lot!

Lovely, lovely recipe combination by the way.

- Owen
posted June 7th, 2005 at 12:30 pm

i am totally allergic to mangoes, but i eat them anyway ? LOL! but maybe that honey will help with the pollen allergies, so they cancel each other out for me. delicious prescription!

Sarah- you totally reminded me: I’ve heard it warned that people who are very sensitive to Poison Oak, and Ivy should be especially wary of the outer skin of mangoes. Mango and Poison Oak are in the same tricky plant family that causes people many problems? both contain the resin urushiol which causes the evilness associated with the “poison” part of Poison Oak. I find it really funny that I unintentionally made such a risky concoction!

? McAuliflower, who swears she has no reaction to Poison Oak, but isn’t about to go proving it to anyone!

- sarah
posted June 7th, 2005 at 1:17 pm

If only I could truly sip, slurp and taste this lovely concoction, especially since the heat has finally hit the Northeast!

- Julie
posted June 9th, 2005 at 5:12 am

Looks and sounds heavenly?

- keiko
posted July 15th, 2005 at 5:16 pm

[...] s and bath soaps. This recipe for Eternal Frozen Honey Mousse brings the flavors of honey once again into my favorite realm for a treat this sweet- the frozen world [...]

posted September 15th, 2006 at 12:12 pm

Can anyone tell me where I can purchase poison oak honey in Salt Lake City, Utah? I visited Oregon this summer and learned that it is the very best honey, but I can\’t find it here. Thanks! Sounds like a delicious recipe.

  • Hi Clare,

    Check out the honey offerings at any \”Natural Food\” stores in your area. Maybe Liberty Heights Fresh?
    Good Luck

- Clare
posted September 17th, 2006 at 11:24 am

Thanks, McAuliflower! (I love your name!) That is a great tip. Will do. I also hear there’s an outfit called The Honey Source. Maybe they’ll know?


Clare Rhubarbra

- Clare
posted September 17th, 2006 at 6:34 pm

Check out this interesting link on poison oak honey:

- Clare
posted July 22nd, 2007 at 8:14 pm

While visiting a farmers’ market day (really, just a collection of growers at their trucks/cars in a designated open area one day/week) in rural Hawaii ? we were warned not to peel the mangos with our teeth ? as our lips and surrounding area would swell and break out from contact with the exteriors (or ? probably more specifically ? maybe from the material within the exterior layer, where it would be torn!).

Also ? my weekly allergy injections are actually the “stuff” that I’m allergic to, in some liquid base ? and I have built up immunity to seasonal allergies to the point of not having black eyes and what I used to term “black headaches” during High Season! No ? I don’t understand how it works ? I just know that it has! So ? regularly eating local honey must work the same way (if the bees collected the pollen you’re allergic to).

And ? if you’re truly “allergic” ? not just “reactive” ? to some food, your airways will swell, and may swell shut ? which is not something you want to mess around with. The next time you indulge could be your last, as your reactions can become stronger (and not just in small increments). Because I’m truly allergic to hot peppers, I carry two up-to-date EpiPens ? since many food servers/sources don’t “get it” (assuring me that the food “isn’t too hot”), or don’t truly check ingredients with the kitchen, or whatever. Of course, a safety check can be made by a trusted friend who will act as my “food taster” ? so long as they wait for any lingering heat ? because in a well-blended concoction, the heat might not always be immediately apparent.

- cal

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