Pistachio Ice Cream – Learn from it!

Pistachio Ice CreamIt goes without saying that foods bring about memories but did you ever stop to consider that they also have a duty to impart life’s more simple lessons on us? Obviously I knew about the memories part for I wouldn’t even have a blog if memories weren’t part of most recipes. That said, I hadn’t really stopped much to think about whether the cook’s notes in my favorite recipes contained “life’s lessons”. It turns out they do. I just hadn’t really stopped to listen for them before.

Then I met this particular ice cream and failure to listen was just not going to be an option. I tried to to just eat my newly minted ice cream in peace but it wouldn’t stay quiet. Pistachio Ice Cream just kept screaming some of life’s lessons at me without letting up. Scream-ing. Pistachio’s lessons were more of the kind you might expect to learn in kindergarten than the kind you learn from a therapist. Nevertheless, I certainly didn’t expect to hear them from my food.

“If you are going to do something, do it right.”

“Don’t look for the easy way.”

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again.”

“Patience is a virtue.”

and finally,

“Excellence is its own reward.”

Man this was some really preachy and verbose ice cream wasn’t it? I usually don’t respond well to the preachy types around me but in this case I found pistachio ice cream quite hard to ignore.
Because it was right!

I had attempted pistachio ice cream before with somewhat tragic results. Essentially a plain vanilla base and using a pistachio extract. The result reminded me of that weird green stripe of ice cream found in cheap supermarket spumoni. It tasted as much like real pistachios as elementary school banana pudding tastes like real bananas.

I didn’t give up and knew I had to try again. I began to feel silly for thinking I could get a good result using an extract. If you are going to do something do it right. There had to be a better way to make this but how? Pistachio paste! If you are patient you can order it online and it is well worth the wait. You can look around for a Greek or Middle Eastern market as well as as there is a lot of it found there too. Either way, trust me that it is worth the wait. Patience is a virtue and all that.

This batch was gone before I realized it! Dear husband surreptitiously packed up the unused portion and sent it home with my sister-in-law without asking me! She didn’t even like nuts and yet she succumbed to its magic. She couldn’t stop raving and so it was now hers. As I watched the pistachio ice cream walk off to my sister-in law’s-house I thought, “fine –let it scream platitudes at her now so I can get some rest. Wise ice cream is her problem now.”

As the Pistachio Ice Cream walked out the door it turned around to leave me with one more pearl of wisdom; one of my grandmother’s favorites:

“Just eat your ice cream while it is on your plate.”

Only when she said it she wasn’t talking about ice cream. Pretty smart ass ice cream that Pistachio. If you’re smart you’ll make this and find out what else it has to teach you!

Pistachio Ice Cream

Pistachio Ice Cream

Pistachio Ice Cream

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 1 quart

Serving Size: 1 scoop

Pistachio Ice Cream

This is what you will need:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbl granulated sugar
  • 2 cups half and half (or 1 cup whole milk + 1 cup heavy cream)
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 3/4 cup pistachio paste
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios

This is how you make it:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks thoroughly. In a saucepan set over medium heat, stir the sugar in to the half and half and let come to a simmer without letting mixture come to a full boil. Slowly pour the hot cream over the egg yolks mixture while whisking to temper the egg yolks then return the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the cream coats the back of spoon or rubber spatula.
  2. Let cool completely, strain and refrigerate overnight until cold. Stir in the almond extract and pistachio paste to the chilled custard. Process the custard according to your ice cream maker manufacturer's instructions. Toward the end of the churning mix in the chopped pistachios. Spoon ice cream into container and freeze until hard, at least 4 hours.


About Trevor Kensey

To be truthful, I don't know what “Sis. Boom. [blog!]" means either. The name implies something explosive just happened I suppose I would like it if each post would make made a small 'boom' in your day or at least a fizzle. Even though a recipe is included with every post I have a hard time calling this a "food blog" or even myself a "food blogger".

Previous Post:
Next Post:

  1. Oh that Pistachio is a cheeky one! I’ve never even heard of Pistachio paste, and now I have to have it.
    This looks amazing, if I can just put up with it talking so much! 🙂

  2. D’oh! I don’t know if I’m that patient to wait on the pistachio paste, but your ice cream looks so fantastic that I may have to learn to wait. Great post!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think this preparation wants to teach me to buy an ice cream machine.


  4. Next to butter pecan, pistachio was my mother’s favorite flavor of ice cream, and I believe she would have wholeheartedly approved of this. (Not that she ever made anything from scratch, I mean …) I would like it if my food spoke back to me like this, I would fight back and then I believe I would have fewer problems in my personal life. Non-snark alert: I really do love that last photo! P.s. – you are a comment double dipper. ; )

  5. I love grandmother’s words of wisdom, they are memorable, aren’t they? I’m also thinking about the therapist’s comment, something like, and what do you think you learned from your pistachio ice cream and how did you feel about it? And finally I’m thinking about ordering this pistachio paste and following your path to enlightenment;-)What a way to go!

  6. As always, a beautiful & poignant post! Looks & sounds heavenly (not the preachy part!)!

    I took a pass on Dorie this week, too because the only melon I like is watermelon!

    I love your idol’s book, The Perfect Scoop! So far, we’re 3 for 3 with great recipes!

    Have fun at the food fest this weekend & take some pics so we can live vicariously!

  7. Your ice cream is gorgeous! I made recently a batch of pistachio ice cream for my Dad making my own (sort of) paste, and it ended up a bit too grainy for my taste. He enjoyed it very much, though!

  8. Oh! This ice cream looks so creamy and scrumptious! Reminds me of stories Laurence tells me of his family re/ summers and their ice cream making parties, made from garden fresh berries and fruit. They had a garden at least more than an acre in size.
    I love pistachio! It looks beautiful and I love your serving bowl.

  9. Paste. Hm… now there’s a good one! I made this (can’t remember the recipe) – last year, but warmed the milk/cream with chopped pistach’s and left them to infuse. Then threw the nuts out and all that’s left is the flavor. But I’m intrigued by paste – and I have Pistachio’s in the freezer, and I have an inkling to make this again! 🙂

  10. Lovely ice cream! Pistachio paste is Magical and Green. And it’s the only way I like pistachios. I don’t actually like the nuts. Just he paste. Does that make me weird? No, it does not! =D

  11. Pistachio ice cream is my 2nd most favorite flavor in the world, right after the one that tastes like a rich man who’s really, really interested in getting to know me for my personality.

  12. The ice cream looks beautiful, and incredibly tempting. My faves are ice creams with nuts in them, and pistachio tops the list. I think pistachio paste is fabulous. I had never tasted it until earlier this year. It just blew me away.

  13. Pistachio paste is really easy to make yourself and the result is much better than most commercially made stuff.

    This blog gives detailed instructions with photos

    It’s in French but easy to follow. (If you want a translation let me know). A brilliant blog for any fan of French cuisine. I am in no way linked to this blog, just an admirer. Just found your blog today and I’m sure I’ll learn lots here as well. Great writing and photos!