Pistachio Ice Cream

I received an ice cream maker for my birthday. My birthday was back in September. The machine has been sitting unused on top of my kitchen cabinets until this past weekend, which baffles even myself. I don’t even know why that is, since I love ice cream so much. I’ll eat ice cream outside in the middle of a Chicago blizzard rather than sipping hot chocolate by a fireplace. So this weekend I put my Cuisinart to use and made several batches of different flavors. Pistachio was my first ingredient to try. Here’s how:

The first step is to preheat your oven to 300F. Then you ‘ll need to unshell 1-1/2 cups of pistachios. I ended up using a whole 16 oz bag. Well, 15 oz due to snacking while working. I’m sure that you can find unshelled pistachios at the store, but I tend make life more difficult than I have to. I’m also pretty certain there’s a tool that helps un-shells them for you. But after an hour or so of red callused thumbs, mounds of lightly salted shells, and mental motivations saying ”it’s worth it, it’ll be worth it”, you’ll have the amount you need.

Put the pistachios on a baking sheet and bake until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 5-7 minutes.

Let cool for 5 minutes. Then blend the pistachios with 1/2 cup of sugar until course. I left some good chunks in there for texture.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine milk and pistachio mixture until boiling. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. In separate bowl, whisk egg yolks and remainder of the sugar. Gradually add pistachio mixture to the egg (don’t cook the eggs!), and then return everything back to the saucepan. Cook over low heat while stirring for about 10 minutes, until the custard thickens and leaves a path on the back of your spoon/utensil.

Wait 15 minutes until your mixture has cooled before adding your vanilla and almond extracts. I found a faster approach since I have absolute zero patience for anything related to food. Fill a larger pot with ice-cold water and immerse the saucepan in it to cool the edges and bottom, stirring occasionally, then add your extracts after 5 minutes. Transfer everything into a container and chill in the fridge for 2-4 hours until cold.

When your mixture has chilled, set up your ice cream maker (your ice cream mixer bowl should be frozen), and turn the machine on. Add in the whipping cream to your mixture and stir. Pour your pistachio mixture in the machine and watch the magic happen. It should take about 20-25 minutes until you get a soft-serve consistency. I literally stood in front of the machine and watched in amusement as my pistachio ice cream was being made.

You can enjoy the soft serve right away, but I like mine more frozen. Transfer everything into a container and freeze for 6 hours until frozen. Then get your favorite waffle cone and scoop like there’s no tomorrow.


Pistachio Ice Cream – Adapted from Epicurious+Cuisinart

  • 1-1/2 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
  • 1-1/8 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups milk (do not use low-fat or nonfat)
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 cup whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup unsalted shelled pistachios, toasted, coarsely chopped

Finely grind 1 cup pistachios and 1/2 cup sugar in processor. Bring milk and ground pistachio mixture to boil in heavy large saucepan. Remove from heat. Whisk egg yolks and remaining cup sugar in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture. Return custard to saucepan. Cook over low heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes (do not boil). Let mixture cool then mix in almond and vanilla extracts. Chill until cold, about 2 hours. Stir 1 cup whipping cream into custard. Process mixture in ice cream maker for 20-25 minutes, until you get a soft-serve consistency. Transfer to container and freeze.




Happy eating!
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About the Author

My name is Diana. I'm a young woman that lets my curiosity run wild. I craft, I cook, I explore, and afterwards I reflect. Welcome to my blog!