Chefs' Recipes

Alpha's lemon ice-cream with strawberries, rose and shortbread

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for lemon ice-cream with strawberries, rose and shortbread by Alpha restaurant in Sydney.

By Peter Conistis
  • 45 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 45 mins cooking plus cooling, setting, chilling, freezing, macerating
  • Serves 6
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Lemon ice-cream with strawberries, rose and shortbread
"I love spoon sweets, or glyko tou koutaliou as they're known in Greece, but these pistachio ones would have to be my all-time favourite," says Conistis. Begin this recipe a day ahead to make the pistachio glyko.


  • 500 ml pouring cream
  • 125 ml lemon juice, plus finely grated rind of 3 lemons (½ cup)
  • 2 tsp full-cream milk powder
  • Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 225 gm caster sugar
Pistachio glyko
  • 100 gm pistachio kernels
  • 125 gm caster sugar
  • Juice and zested rind of ½ lemon
  • 1 cardamom pod, seeds finely ground
Almond shortbread
  • 65 gm slivered almonds
  • 250 gm plain flour (1 1/3 cups)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 125 gm unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 160 gm pure icing sugar, sieved
  • 1 eggwhite
  • 2 tsp ouzo
  • ½ tsp rosewater, plus extra for drizzling
Macerated strawberries
  • 250 gm strawberries (about 1 punnet), hulled
  • 2 tbsp each pure icing sugar and lemon juice
  • 1 tsp rosewater


  • 1
    For pistachio glyko, blanch pistachios (1-2 minutes), drain, refresh, remove skins and set aside. Place sugar, lemon juice and 125ml water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce to low-medium, add pistachios, lemon rind and cardamom and simmer until slightly thickened and darkened (30 minutes). Set aside to cool, then refrigerate overnight to confit. Drain syrup into a saucepan (reserve pistachios) and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low-medium, then simmer for 5 minutes. Add pistachios and simmer until syrupy (25-30 minutes). Pour into sterilised jars, set aside to cool and refrigerate until required. Makes 2 cups; will keep refrigerated for a month.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, place cream, lemon juice and rind, milk powder and vanilla seeds in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale, add cream mixture, whisk briefly, then return to pan. Reduce heat to low and stir continuously until custard thickly coats a spoon (6-8 minutes). Transfer to a bowl over ice and stir occasionally until chilled (30 minutes). Churn in an ice-cream machine, then freeze until required.
  • 3
    For almond shortbread, preheat oven to 180C. Roast almonds on an oven tray (7-8 minutes) and set aside. Reduce oven to 160C. Sift flour, baking powder and ½ tsp salt into a bowl and set aside. Beat butter and 125gm icing sugar in an electric mixer until very light and creamy. Add eggwhite, beat for a further 2 minutes, then add ouzo and rosewater. Stir in flour mixture and almonds, spoon onto a large sheet of baking paper, pat out into a disc, cover and refrigerate to chill (20 minutes). Roll out dough to 2cm thick between 2 sheets of baking paper, then cut with a 5cm-diameter round pastry cutter to form crescents. Bake on baking sheets, in batches, until pale golden (15-20 minutes). Lightly drizzle with rosewater, dust generously with remaining icing sugar and set aside. Makes about 20. Shortbread will keep in an airtight container for a week; you may need to re-dust with icing sugar before serving.
  • 4
    For macerated strawberries, place strawberries in a bowl and set aside. Combine sugar, lemon juice and rosewater in a small bowl, pour over strawberries and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • 5
    On each serving plate place a spoonful of macerated strawberries, a spoonful of pistachio glyko, a scoop of lemon ice-cream and a piece of almond shortbread and serve.


Hot tip Try leftover pistachio glyko for breakfast with thick Greek yoghurt and fresh pistachios, or mix it through a meringue-based filling for fillo cigars.
Drink Suggestion: 2008 Alpha Estate, Omega, Florina, Greece. Drink suggestion by Vanessa Chant