Table Recipes: Pistachios on Pistachio Ice Cream

By franco on 3 March, 2009

Table Recipes: Pistachio on Pistachios Ice Cream

My eldest brother just turned 50.

If he has turned a half a century old, then that would make me…never mind. The point is that this is an auspicious milestone in my brother’s life and most definitely a reason to celebrate. But the question remains: what do you give a guy who has been very blessed in this life?

My brother is passionate about ice cream. There is a family urban legend that when my brother was little nine years old, on a dare, he licked clean a large vase filled to the brim with scoops of ice cream. The ice cream shop owner was so impressed with this feat of ice cream gluttony that decided give my brother the ice cream for free.

Maybe passionate is the wrong word. Obsessed sounds more like it.

To mark the occasion, I have decided to gift my brother with, no surprise, home-made ice cream for the year. Six different flavors, one flavor every two months. And to begin this little ice-cream making odyssey, I made his favorite, Pistachio.

Pistachio Ice Cream with Salted Pistachios
Adapted from

  • 1 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup full cream milk
  • 3/4 cup salted pistachios, unshelled and coarsely chopped

Finely grind 1 cup of pistachios and 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor. Bring 1 cup of cream, milk and ground pistachio mixture to boil in heavy large saucepan. Remove from heat and mix in the almond extract. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks and add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Slowly mix in hot milk into the egg mixture. Return custard to saucepan.

Over low heat, cook the custard until it thickens. Stir constantly and keep the custard at a low simmer. Once the custard leaves a path on the back of a spoon when you draw your finger across, remove it from the heat immediately. Strain into large bowl over an ice bath. When cool, transfer the custard to a refrigerator and chill for about two hours.

Stir 1 cup of cream into custard. Process mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. During the last minutes of churning, add 3/4 cup of chopped salted pistachios. Transfer to container and freeze to set.

makes 1 litre

It is essential that you use fresh, unsalted pistachios for the flavor base. This is obviously for the authentic taste but it is also necessary in order to achieve the beautiful green hue of real pistachios. The only hitch in using these finely ground pistachios is a grainy mouth feel. In this case, the pros outweigh the cons.

I’ve always loved the taste of pistachios but I have not always enjoyed the ice cream, probably because I’ve been turned off by the less-than-appealing color of most commercially available pistachio ice cream. But after this batch, I had to reconsider my opinion. This ice cream was so nutty delectable that I even considered changing my brother’s gift…

Maybe a book? Or a gold pen? How about key chain?




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  • MARCH 24, 2009 3:48 AM

    Anonymous said...

    Check out Dolce Gelato's Pistachio Ice Cream, the use real pistachio, its super yummy! :)

    Love the blog by the way! keep the posts coming!

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