Passover Baklava Ice Cream Loaf

4 cups walnut pieces, approximately 1 pound
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3 sheets of matzo
½ stick unsalted butter, melted
1 quart vanilla or coffee ice cream (plain, no chips or solids in the mixture)

SYRUP

1 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 cinnamon stick
2 strips of lemon zest 1/2 inch wide and length of lemon

  1. Combine all of the ingredients for the syrup in a 2 quart saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir once.  Reduce the heat to a very low simmer and cook for 20 minutes.  Remove from the heat and discard the cinnamon and lemon zest.  Pour into a bowl and refrigerate until needed.
  2. Preheat oven to 325F. Butter an 8 inch square baking pan and set aside.
  3. Place the walnuts in a processor work bowl and pulse on and off until a fine, but still coarse texture. Place in a 2 quart bowl.  Add the sugar, cinnamon and cloves to the nuts.  Mix well and set aside.
  4. Brush one side of a sheet of matzo with some melted butter. Place in pan, buttered side down.  Butter the top of the matzo with some butter.
  5. Spread 1/2 of the walnut mixture on top of the matzo in the pan. Repeat Step 3 with the second sheet of matzo and cover with the remaining nut filling.
  6. Repeat step 3 with the last sheet of matzo brushing any remaining butter on the top.
  7. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes or until golden.
  8. Allow the baklava to cool for 10 minutes and then evenly pour the refrigerated syrup over all of the pastry. Refrigerate the pan until cold.
  9. When the mixture is cold, take a knife and crush/cut up the baklava into coarse, but small pieces.
  10. Line the bottom and long sides of a loaf pan with parchment paper so that the paper overhangs the two long sides. Spray  all insides of the pan lightly with cooking spray.
  11. Slightly soften the ice cream in the microwave for 15 seconds.
  12. Working quickly so ice cream doesn’t melt too much, evenly spread 1/3 of the ice cream in the bottom of the loaf pan. Spoon ½ of the crushed Baklava over the ice cream and evenly distribute.
  13. Layer another 1/3 of the ice cream in the pan followed by the remaining baklava. Cover with
  14. Cover with the remaining ice cream, fold the flaps of parchment paper over the ice cream. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and freeze until ready to eat.
  15. Slice ½” slices from the loaf and serve.

Serves 8 or more people

Tina’s Tidbits:

  • The ground nuts shouldn’t be powdery. If your processor bowl is small, or you are chopping by hand, work in two or three batches so you don’t wind up pulverizing the nuts or creating some nut butter by over working the machine.
  • Warming the sides of the loaf pan for 30 seconds with a hot, wet dish towel will make it easier to lift the ice cream cake out of the loaf pan by the parchment pap
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