My daughter’s best childhood friend just tied the knot with her beloved. I’m so happy they used our house for the event, and my contribution was to set up an ‘ice cream stand’ for the reception! I made the couple’s three favorite ice creams… vanilla, pistachio, and chocolate (OK, I upped the romance with a little rose to that last one… You know me, I just can’t help myself with those rose petals!)
I was recently given an ice cream cookbook–Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones by Kris Hogerhyde, Anne Walker and Dabney Gough, so I was armed with great recipes. (I had never made pistachio ice cream from scratch before!) Their recipe looked awesome, except I had made a change or two by switching a bit of the sugar with Lyle’s Golden Syrup (golden treacle to you Brits out there), and using whole eggs instead of all egg yolks, as I prefer the lighter touch in summer. Something else I’d like to try in the future, especially if I were serving this with Indian or Persian food, is to add a bit of saffron during the steeping stage.
Recipe: (makes about 1 quart)
- 3/4 cup raw shelled pistachios (if your store doesn’t have them, try an Indian grocery)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup or honey
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups low-fat milk
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large eggs
Directions: Roast the nuts in a 350 degree F oven for 15 minutes. Cool completely. Combine the cooled nuts and the 1/2 cup sugar in a food processor, pulsing until it has the texture of sand. Combine with the syrup, cream, milk, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat just until little bubbles form around the edges. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes until you can definitely taste the pistachios infused in the mixture. Pour through a coarse strainer into a bowl and reserve. Temper the eggs into the strained cream, and pour the mixture back into the cleaned saucepan. Heat just until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F, and pour immediately through a fine-mesh strainer. (You may find it necessary to gently scrape the mesh so that the liquid drains through. The stuff left in the strainer this time? Throw it out, or eat it as is.
Back to the twice-strained cream… Cover with plastic wrap and let cool for a few hours or overnight. Freeze in the ice cream freezer. If you like a very smooth ice cream you can leave as is, or for a bit of texture, add half of the reserved nuts (from the first straining) just before the ice cream is done freezing.*