Often when you get pistachio ice cream it is some horrible color green that doesn’t exist in nature, doesn’t even taste like a pistachio, and you’re lucky if there is even a pistachio in the scoop. You can get expensive pistachio paste, but I think that stuff tastes more like marzipan than anything else. Inspired by the recipe in Frozen Desserts by Caroline Liddell and Robin Weir, I used their technique for pistachio ice cream on my own base recipe and kicked the salt up a bit to get that roasted, salted nut flavor.
Pistachio Ice Cream
(makes about a quart)
1 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios
2 cup milk
6 egg yolks
6 oz sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup heavy cream
Toast the pistachios in the oven and, while still hot, then transfer a half-cup of them to a food processor and grind them as finely as possible (it’s okay if they start to clump up). Set the other half-cup of nuts aside for later. Transfer the finely ground nuts to a sauce pan and add the milk. Bring this to a scald, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and salt until light. Temper the hot milk into the egg yolks and then pour it back into the saucepan. Cook the custard over low heat, stirring constantly, until it has thickened (~185º). Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream. Cool the custard and chill it overnight.
The next day, coarsely chop the reserved half-cup of pistachios. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh strainer and press on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. Churn the custard in an ice cream maker. Depending on your ice cream maker you can add the reserved chopped nuts at the beginning or fold them in at the end of churning. Transfer the churned ice cream to a container and freeze.
This ice cream has all the flavor of freshly toasted pistachios and is a lovely (and natural) green flavor. SO YUMMY!