Sahlab (salepi) for Kaimaki ice cream - Recipe

Sahlab (salepi) for Kaimaki ice cream

 Sahlab (salepi) Orchard


Kaimaki ice cream Recipe

 In Greece call this type of ice cream “kaimaki” and it very typical of 1960’s style confectionery shops selling baklava and kataifi as well as other types of  -usually syrup.

This recipe revealed a very interesting ingredient: sahlep (called salepi in Greek). Sahlep comes from the root of an orchid and apart from its interesting taste it is also a very strong thickening agent, so very little goes a long way (which is fortunate as it costs around 100 euros per kilo!). The most interesting attribute of sahlep, however, is that it gives the ice cream in interesting elasticity, typical of kaimaki.

This recipe is perfect for those avoiding egg-based ice cream and it will keep in the freezer for longer. Serve it on its own with Variegato Amarena and some pistachios crumble.


KAIMAKI ice cream

  • 1 tsp salepi (sahlab) or 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 cups milk cream 35%
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp mastic powder
  • chopped pistachios for decoration


  1. Dilute salep in 1tbsp cold milk.
  2. Bring milk, cream, and sugar to boil, add salep (use an immersion blender because it would’ t dilute). Stir in mastic and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the slice of orange rind and remove from heat. Let it cool and place it in the fridge. Churn in an ice cream machine.
  4. Keep in the freezer until needed.