Dissolve corn starch in ½ cup milk and stir well until smooth.
Take the remaining milk and sugar in a large saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium high heat.
Lower the heat and whisk in the corn starch-milk mixture, stirring constantly. Simmer until it reaches a thin custard consistency or coats the back of a spoon. Take the pan off the heat and let it cool on an ice bath.
Using a small mortar and pestle, grind the saffron with a pinch of salt until it is a fine powder. Dissolve it in the rose water and let it soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
Stir in saffron-rose water, heavy cream and vanilla until well combined.
Chill the mixture in refrigerator for several hours/overnight or over an ice bath (by setting the saucepan in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water).
Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the pistachios in the end just when the ice cream is starting to set. Check note below about cream chunks.
Frozen Cream Pieces: Often Persian saffron ice cream has chunks of frozen cream in it. To make this, simply pour heavy cream in a thin layer over a flat plate that has been lined with parchment paper. Place the plate in the freezer and let the cream freeze until hard. Then break the cream crust into ½ inch pieces and add it along with the pistachios or just on top of scooped ice cream.
Storage: Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the ice cream and store in an airtight container to prevent ice crystal formation. If possible, store it in the door section of your freezer as the temperature there is slightly warmer.
For easy no churn homemade ice cream, other variations and serving suggestions, scroll up the page to the blog post.