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Pistachio Ice Cream

Pistachio Ice Cream

Course Dessert
Keyword ice cream
Prep Time 30 minutes
Chilling/Infusing Time 6 hours
Total Time 7 hours
Servings 1 quart


  • ¾ cup raw shelled pistachios
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • cups 1% or 2% milk
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • ⅓ - ½ cup additional raw shelled pistachios as a mix-in (optional)


Prepare the nuts

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spread the pistachios on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the nuts are just starting to brown and smell nutty, 5 to 6 minutes. Let cool completely.
  • Combine the ¾ cups of the cooled nuts and the sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until very finely ground (about the consistency of sand). Do not overprocess or the mixture will become oily and pasty.

Infuse the milk/cream

  • Transfer the pistachio mixture to a heavy nonreactive 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 15 to 20 minutes, or until a distinct pistachio flavor has infused into the mixture. (Taste it to monitor the progress.)

Make the base

  • In a medium, heatproof bowl, whisk the yolks just to break them up. Set aside.
  • Uncover the cream mixture and put the pan back over medium-high heat. When the mixture approaches a bare simmer, reduce the heat to medium.
  • Carefully scoop out about ½ cup of the hot cream mixture and, whisking the eggs constantly, add the cream to the bowl with the egg yolks. Repeat, adding another ½ 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, cats the back of a spatula, and holds a clear path when you run your finger across the spatula, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
  • Stain the base through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container. Set the container into an ice-water bath, wash your spatula, and use it 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 the ice cream

  • Freeze in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. While the ice cream is churning, put the contain you’ll use to store the ice cream in the freezer.
  • Also, while the ice cream is churning, coarsely chop the remaining roasted pistachios (you should have somewhere between ⅓ and ½ cup) using a knife or by pulsing a food processor a few times. When the ice cream is nearly finished -- about 2 minutes before the time is up -- drop the almonds into the mixture a few handfuls at a time.
  • Enjoy right away or, for a firmer ice cream, transfer to the chilled container and freeze for at least 4 hours.


From: Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones from Bi-Rite Creamery
Note: If you prefer your ice cream smooth, you can omit the optional additional pistachios.