700 ml full-fat milk
300 gr. heavy whipping cream
2 tsp salep (or sahlep)
½ tsp mastic (+ 2 tsp powdered sugar)
150 gr. sugar
1 kg sour cherry fruit (900 gr. without pits)
450 gr. white sugar
100 gr. water


2.Grind mastic drops of resin with powdered sugar in the mortar with the pestle. For better results, freeze mastic for 30 minutes before using it.
3.In a medium bowl, mix salep, mastic and ½ cup of cold milk until completely dissolved.
4.In a heavy saucepan, heat milk, cream and sugar to a medium temperature.
5.Combine the two mixtures in the saucepan and keep stirring in a medium temperature until cream thickens and forms thick custard.
6.Place a plastic wrap onto the surface of custard and let it out of the fridge to come to a room temperature. Refrigerate overnight.
7.Next day, freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
8.Freeze at least 3 hours before serving it.
10.Wash thoroughly sour cherries.
11.Remove the pits from the cherries trying to keep them intact. The hardest part of the recipe is removing pits, but with a cherry pitter or a hairpin, is not that difficult.
12.Do that over a big bowl that you’ll use for preserving the fruit with the sugar. In that way you won’t lose the juices falling from the cherries.
13.Place the cherries in the bowl and cover them with sugar.
14.Place the pits into another bowl and add water. Mix with a spoon as for the water to wash any remains of fruit from the pits.
15.Drain the pits from the water and pour the water to the bowl with cherries.
16.Let them stand overnight to the refrigerator.
17.Next day, place a heavy pot to the fire with all the fruit and juice from the bowl in it and bring to boil over high heat for 8-10 minutes.
18.Skim the foam that will probably surface on water and boil to a medium temperature.
19.Keep boiling for 25-30 minutes until the syrup thickens, stirring often.
20.To check if the syrup is ready, drip one or two drops with a spoon, on different spots of the plate. If the drops stand firm the syrup is ready. If they spread, you should boil a little more.
21.Wiggle the pot 2-3 times, to help the cherries puff and become bigger.
22.Place into sterilized jars and seal with a lid. Place the jar upside down until it cools down. Store in the refrigerator.


  1. Place ice cream bowl overnight in the freezer.
  2. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, stir mixture once an hour and place it to the freezer, until you have a fluffy ice cream. For better result you should use a mixer (hand or stand), so you have a soft airy ice cream.
  3. I always store mastic in the refrigerator.
  4. Salep (or sahlep or sahlab) is flour made from the bulbs of some species of orchid family. You usually find it in Turkish recipes. Salep works in the recipe as a thickening agent but gives also to the ice cream the elasticity of kaimaki cream.
  5. Mastic trees are only cultivated in Greece, island of Chios. Mastic is a resin, with a very specific flavor and aroma. It gives this chewy texture to the cream.
  6. Aromatic spices like those above may be available to Greek, Turkish or any oriental markets.
  7. Kaimaki ice cream is a smoother variation of Turkish “dondurma” ice cream.
  8. In case you pit the cherries, put on gloves, to avoid coloring your hands.
  9. If you don’t have a cherry pitter, try removing the pits using the back side of a hairpin. Just push it inside half way through, give it a swirl to detach the pit and use the pin to pull it out.
  10. For the jar sterilization, preheat the oven to 100°C, wash the jars and lids thoroughly in hot soapy water and rinse but don’t dry them. Place the jars onto a baking tray and into the oven for 10 minutes. Place the lids 1 minute before sterilization ends. Remove jars and fill immediately with the spoon sweet.

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