Monday, September 24, 2012

A Spoonful of Secret Sugar | Pistachio Ice Cream


I've been keeping a secret: All summer long I've been making ice cream, almost once a week. (And, believe me, I have the extra poundage to prove it.)

For Mother's Day, my daughter Amy gave me the ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer and I've had a ball experimenting. I think of all the desserts in the whole wide world, ice cream -- well, well-made ice cream -- has to be the best treat. Really. Forget my other favorites: cheesecake, apple crisp, German chocolate cake, pecan pie. All very good, of course, but nothing beats really good ice cream.

To assure myself of success right out of the chute, the first ice cream I made was straight out of the manufacturer's book. It was caramel nut ice cream. And it was very good.  How could it not be? It had sweetened condensed milk, cream, dry pudding mix and a jar of caramel topping in it! (Now you understand the weight gain!)

Then I tried a plain vanilla ice cream a couple times, using pretty much the same recipe. But I was getting a mite bolder and decided to add my own touch -- a bit of cinnamon and some chocolate chips to one batch. That didn't suit Mr. Rosemary. After one bite he said, "What's that funny taste?"  Not "Hmmm. That's good. What's in there?" No, something funny. 

But the grandkids ate it. (And it was good.)

And then I made cookie dough ice cream from The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook.  An indubitable success. Outstanding.  Everyone liked it. Me. Mr. Rosemary. And the grandkids.

But the ice cream flavor I really wanted to make was pistachio.  My all-time favorite ever since I was a little kid and had my first one at the Howard Johnson's, or HoJo's. 

After I hunted a few recipes, I put the one I finally made on the the refrigerator door. I kept it there for a couple months to daily tease me until I finally made it.  I was intimidated by the thought of curdling the eggs. Or maybe by not cooking the custard long enough. Or too long.

The more likely truth about why I procrastinated was that I didn't want to shell all the nuts. Plus, it was hard to keep a bag of nuts around.  Mr. Rosemary and I both love to snack on them.

But I finally kept a stash hidden, shelled them and made a batch. And it was everything I wanted. Except the &*%$^# stuff is really difficult to photograph! So you'll just have to believe me. It was really good, really worth it.

And  -- dare I say? -- even better than HoJo's. 


Pistachio Nut Ice Cream
from Brown Eyed Baker
Makes about 1½ quarts

1 1/3 cups shelled pistachio nuts
¾ cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
Pinch of salt
6 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
¾ cup pistachios, coarsely chopped

Grind the 1 1/3 cups of pistachios in a food processor until finely ground, but not to a paste. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of the cream, and salt, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the ground nuts. Cover, remove from the heat, and let steep for at least 30 minutes.

Strain the warm nut mixture, pressing on the nuts to extract as much liquid as possible, and discard the solids. Return the milk and cream mixture to the saucepan. Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Add the vanilla extract and almond extract and stir until combined.

Refrigerate until cold. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. Once finished churning, fold in the ¾ cup pistachios with a rubber spatula.


28 comments:

  1. Delicious lovely desert, my kids love home made Ice cream, thanks guys for sharing this beautiful and delicious recipe. of Pistachio Nut Ice Cream

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Never made it before . . sure will again!

      Delete
  2. Yes. Love pistachio ice cream and a commercial brand is hard to come by in the Midwest. Must. Make Own. Must. Make This.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And there was a pistachio crisis a couple years ago, too. Blue Bunny used to have it and so did Haagen-Daaz. But it's still hard to find. Worth making.

      Delete
  3. This ice cream looks fantastic! I got one of those ice cream makers as a gift with my new kitchen aid mixer but I haven't broken it out of the box yet. You've got me inspired now! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just remember to freeze the bowl well before you plan to make your ice cream!

      Delete
  4. Oh wow yay for your ice cream maker my friend - loving your flavour choice :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I'm going to be making your honey peanut butter ice cream!

      Delete
  5. Between my daughter and myself we can't seem to get enough pistachios lately. This recipe will go over quite well in my home. I'll have to save it to make next time I pull out the ice cream machine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes I wish I wouldn't have turned Mr. Rosemary on to pistachios . . . now he beats me to them! (Have you tried pistachio crusted salmon? Delish.)

      Delete
  6. Growing up, there was a dairy in my hometown that used to make pistachio ice cream. Never having heard of pistachios before as a young girl, I thought that not only the ice cream flavor was delicious, but also somewhat 'grown-up' and exotic sounding. It's a great ice cream flavor that's for sure, Rosemary!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The fact that it seemed "exotic" to me was also my attraction to it, at first. (A funny word, too.) Even if it was HoJo's!

      Delete
  7. Love the idea of some crunch in the ice cream. I didn't know there was an ice cream attachment. How cool is that.
    Sam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I had more space to store more equipment. (But then again, if they're out of sight, I won't use them -- 'cept for the ice cream maker :)

      Delete
  8. There's no need to convince me. Home-made pistachio ice cream is so extraordinary. I never buy that fake green stuff sold by commercial ice cream companies. I am lucky enough to have a place here in town that makes exquisite pistachio gelato. I'm definitely putting this on my to-do list (after I lose a few pounds).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the ice cream maker that helped me put on a few!

      Delete
  9. Oh I totally agree with you, Rosemary. If I only could eat one dessert for the rest of my life, it would be ice cream and pistachio is among my top 3. This sounds wonderful - though the cookie dough sounds rather good too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another one I want to make is salted caramel. I believe that would be sinful and decadent all wrapped up in one.

      Delete
  10. I think you did a great job photographing this ice cream! I know I want a bowl RIGHT NOW! Thank you for sharing your creativity with me! I've been baking all day, and I'm eager for sleep, but I'll now be dreaming sweet and delicious dreams thanks to you! I hope you have a wonderful Monday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had a great Monday, and Sunday and Tuesday . . . just got back from a weekend at a refurbished grand hotel, The Bedford Springs Hotel, celebrating a big decade birthday. A lovely way to do it.

      Delete
  11. Oh, yeah, I hate trying to photograph ice cream...but you got a lovely shot, Rosemary! And how wonderful that it exceeded your childhood memories...so beautiful, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lizzy. I'm still working on food photography. (When I started this blog, I just wanted to write about food!) And I'm glad the ice cream lived up to my expectations.

      Delete
  12. Hi Rosemary, Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and commenting on my giveaway. Muy Bueno is a beautiful book. Best of luck. I won't be a stranger to your site now that I have discovered it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting, Karen. I'm not the most dedicated blogger(I mean I don't regularly post 2 or 3 times a week) but I do love making food and writing about it. Hope you'll be back.

      Delete
  13. Yum, pistachio ice cream- now that's a memorable flavor;-)
    Sounds like you had fun with your ice cream maker attachment over the Summer-thanks for sharing your delicious recipe;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad my memories of how good it was are intact!

      Delete
  14. pistachio ice cream is my mom's favorite. i am going to try making this for her next time she visits. i just hope mine turns out as nice as yours :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I just wanted to stop by and wish you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving, Rosemary! I am very thankful for your friendship.

    Roz

    ReplyDelete

I realize you don't have to take the time to comment . . . but it makes my day! So glad you decided to stay.