Pistachio ice cream has always been one of my favorites. And although I would eat the store bought brands any day… this homemade version is so much better! Plus, an added bonus is to make this recipe organic. For my family, I always have organic milk on hand (both of my kids are still milkaholics ;)); but eggs, heavy cream, sugar, and even almond extract can all be found in organic versions. Yes, these organic products are usually a bit more expensive; but, pint per pint, homemade organic ice cream is cheaper than store bought.
This recipe, like all Tasty Mistakes ice cream recipes, is pretty simple. It is basically a creamy ice cream base, and then you can any flavor you choose from there! But flavoring is not quite as simple as it sounds, and not surprisingly, I have made a few mistakes along the way 😉 So here are a few tips to keep in mind…
First of all, don’t crush the pistachios too small. A chunky variety is much more pleasant than sand-like itty bitty bits of nuts. Also, don’t add too many crushed pistachios. The first time I made this, I added ½ c. crushed pistachios and then sprinkled some whole ones in as well. But, in my opinion (and in my husband’s very VERY vocal opinion ;)), ½ c. was too much. It becomes a bit gritty when you add that many nuts. I think the ¼ c. amount is just about perfect.
Next, do not let the cream mixture boil! If this happens, it will curdle. Just keep an eye on the mixture. Once the mixture is slightly steaming, you have reached the amount of heat needed to cook the eggs. Maintain this temperature by checking it with your finger. If it feels hot, turn it down. Don’t you love my precision 😉 But don’t stress, even if you play it safe and cook it at a super low temperature, the eggs will have plenty of time to cook while the mixture thickens.
Lastly, be sure to add about 1 c. of the warm cream mixture into the bowl of whisked egg yolks before combining it all together. This will help to keep the eggs smooth rather than getting chunky and scrambled. If you are worried that a few chunks still formed, just strain the mixture when you pour it into the ice cream maker.
Ok, that’s it! Piece of cake! 😉 I think I covered everything, but if you have any comments or questions, just post below and I’ll get back to you ASAP! Thanks for reading!
4 egg yolks
3 c. heavy cream
1 c. milk
¾ c. sugar
½ tsp. almond extract
¼ c. pistachios
- In a large skillet, combine the cream, milk, and sugar. Stirring constantly, heat on low until sugar is dissolved.
- Using two bowls, separate the eggs (you don’t need the whites, but you could use them to make an egg white omelette ;)). Whisk the yolks until smooth. Add about 1 cup of the warm cream and milk mixture to the egg yolks; whisk until smooth (adding a small amount of this warm mixture into the eggs helps to keep the egg yolks from cooking). Pour this egg mixture back into the sauce pan and combine.
- Continue to cook on low heat until the mixture starts to thicken (about 10 minutes), but do not allow the mixture to boil. Finally, remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool for 20-30 minutes.
- Once cool (or just no longer hot), pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and follow manufacturers churning instructions.
- About 10 minutes into the churning process, add the crushed pistachios. I like to add some whole ones as well 😉 Also, if you prefer a greener color, add a drop or two of green food coloring. I like the color as is, but depending on your preference, a richer/brighter color is always possible!
- Once the ice cream is done, scoop it into a freezer container and freeze until ready to eat. Enjoy!