March 5th, 2014

Pistachio Ice Cream

pistachio ice cream

Pistachios have forever been a favorite snacking nut of mine and has even been a sought after flavor of ice cream or frozen yogurt. This ice cream fits the bill perfectly. It is a sweet and nutty flavor that doesn’t last long at my house.

Pistachio Ice Cream


3/4 cup shelled pistachios**
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups 2% milk
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
5 large egg yolks


**If using raw pistachios, you will need to toast them before using.  Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350.  Spread the pistachios on a rimmed baking sheet.  Bake until the nuts are just starting to brown and smell nutty, 5-6 minutes.  Let cool completely.

Combine the pistachios and sugar in a food processor or blender; pulse until very finely ground. Do not overprocess or the mixture will become pasty and oily.

Transfer the pistachio mixture to a large saucepan and stir in the cream, milk and salt. Put the pan over medium-high heat. When the mixture just begins to bubble around the edges, remove from the heat and cover the pan. Let steep for at least 15-20 minutes, or until a distinct pistachio flavor has infused into the mixture. (Taste to monitor the progress.)

In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the yolks slightly. Set aside.

Uncover the cream mixture and put the pan over medium-high heat. When the mixture approaches a bare simmer, reduce the heat to medium.

Carefully scoop out about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture and, whisking the eggs constantly, add the cream to the bowl with the egg yolks. Repeat, adding another 1/2 cup of the hot cream to the bowl with the yolks. Using a heatproof rubber spatula, stir the cream in the saucepan as you slowly pour the egg and cream mixture from the bowl into the pan.

Cook the mixture carefully over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is thickened; coats the back of a spatula, and holds a clear path when you run your finger across the spatula, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Strain the base through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container.  Set the container into an ice-water bath, use a spatula to stir the base occasionally until it is cool.  Remove the container from the ice-water bath, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate  the base for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Freeze in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  While the ice cream is churning, put the container you’ll use to store the ice cream into the freezer.  Enjoy right away or, for a firmer ice cream, transfer to the chilled container and freeze for at least 4 hours.

*Recipe slightly adapted from Sweet Cream And Sugar Cones.


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