Every summer I pull out the ice cream maker and freeze the tumbler and assume that I will be making hundreds of varieties of frozen treats. Creams, sorbets, yogurts. But somehow, this is the first recipe I got around to actually making this year (because who regularly has cream and whole milk in the house?). Before making this recipe, I had never actually tasted pistachio ice cream before, but I knew I liked pistachios and I knew I liked ice cream, so how bad could it be? Plus, it tends to be a favorite of my dad's, who is an ice cream professional. And guess what! It was delicious!
There are no eggs in this recipe; instead it uses corn syrup and cream cheese for that creamy, scoopable texture. No complaints there. And I opted to skip food coloring, so that signature green color is gone (which was very confusing for Lily, who expected to be biting into vanilla), but I was more into the natural colors this time. You can obviously add food coloring if you want to.
And I promise that there will be another ice cream post before the end of the summer. Maybe.
Pistachio Ice Cream
2 cups whole milk 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch 1 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened (3 tablespoons) 1 1/4 cups heavy cream 2/3 cup sugar 1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup 1/2 cup toasted pistachios, very finely ground 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch. In another large bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth.
In a large saucepan, combine the remaining milk with the heavy cream, sugar and corn syrup. Bring the milk mixture to a boil and cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Off the heat, gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in the pistachios, almond extract and salt. Set aside until it cools to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight until the ice cream base it fully chilled.
Strain the ice cream base into an ice cream maker, pressing the pistachios with the back of a spoon to extract all the flavor. You might have to do it in batched (strain some, get rid of the nuts, strain some more, etc.) and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Pack the ice cream into a quart-sized container.
Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream and close with an airtight lid. Freeze until firm, about 4 hours.
Source: Food and Wine Magazine