Friday, March 16, 2012

Pistachio Gelato

I wasn't lying when I said I'd be making pistachio gelato soon. Now, I'm thinking I need a bigger ice cream maker because frozen treats like this one never seem to last long. The recipe is from the book The Country Cooking of Italy, and true to traditional gelato-making, it’s lower in butterfat and sugar than ice cream. In the book, there’s a brief story about the arrival of sorbets and gelatos in Italy and a mention of ice cream sandwiches. It was in Sicily where gelato was first scooped into a brioche roll and was typically eaten that way in the morning. Why have I never had gelato in brioche for breakfast, and how soon can I change that? In describing gelato, Andrews writes: “(it) has a distinctive texture, creamy but sometimes faintly grainy.” With this pistachio gelato, that was definitely true. It’s made with pistachio flour which I could have ordered online, but instead, I ground whole pistachios in a food processor. I sifted the ground pistachios, but I suspect a purchased pistachio flour would have been a little finer. So, yes, my pistachio gelato was slightly grainy, but what struck me most about it was how rich and creamy tasting it was considering that there were no eggs and no cream.

If you’re able to find pistachio flour, then by all means, use it. But, grinding pistachios in a food processor is an easy task. As I mentioned, I sifted the ground pistachios before using them. One cup of the sifted ground pistachios was used, and that was placed in a big measuring pitcher and set aside. This particular gelato was thickened with corn starch. So, cornstarch and sugar were placed in a heat-proof bowl with some milk, and the mixture was whisked to combine. More milk was heated to a simmer in a saucepan, and the cornstarch mixture was whisked into it. That mixture was heated, while stirring, until it thickened which took about ten minutes. The thickened milk mixture was then poured over the ground pistachios while whisking. This was left to cool and then refrigerated overnight. The next morning, the pistachio mixture was poured through a sieve before being poured into the ice cream maker.

The flavor was completely pistachio, and I loved that plenty of green remained in the mixture after straining out the ground nuts. This does freeze very firm, so it’s best to move it from the freezer to the refrigerator about an hour before you plan to scoop it. Then, it’s surprisingly velvety and rich-tasting for what a simple concoction it is.


28 comments:

  1. Oh, divine! I'd love to cook or bake more with pistachios, but unfortunately they are far too expensive for my budget... :-(

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    ReplyDelete
  2. YUM! Pistachio is my favorite.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sounds very Italian.. and looks very beautiful :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm sure this gelato tastes as good as it looks! Now you'll just have to make another batch and some brioche 'cause that combination sounds to divine to pass up. What a decadent breakfast- sounds right up my alley!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Pistachio Gelato....
    Yum....
    I have never tried gelato made with pistachio but so have to...

    ReplyDelete
  6. If I see pistachio ice cream, gelato or frozen yogurt at a store, I can never pass it up, I'ma total sucker for it! This looks fabulous!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lisa, pistachio is one of the most popular flavor of ice cream in Sao Paulo, probably because of the large Italian immigration that happened in the past.

    I never cared for it while I was growing up, but now I'm a huge fan, it has such unique flavor, complex, "adult", awesome!

    I bet your gelato version was great

    ReplyDelete
  8. Homemade Pistachio Gelato, how scrumptious! I am convinced that you have captured the vibrant and delectable essence of the pistachios, just spectacular!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh, your gelato looks incredible, Lisa! The color just shouts pistachio!!! Beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  10. masterful! i remember the first time i saw pistachio ice cream--i was baffled as to who would choose to eat such a thing! then i tasted it and understood. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Lovely! The pistachio flavor is so good!

    ReplyDelete
  12. your home-made gelato looks incredible, and I think grinded pistachio is more flavourful and authentic than pistachio flour.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I never used to like pistachio ice cream back in the days when it was only available in a lime green color and made with fake ingredients. But this - this is the real deal - and I wonder how early the stores are open tomorrow to buy some pistachios.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Pistachio gelato is my favourite although a lot here taste like almonds because they use them as they're cheaper. I can imagine your version using a cup of pistachios would be amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love when the blogsphere starts to make ice creams. This means that spring and eventually summer is coming! I love the color of this gelato and pistachios must must have given it that beautiful flavor I remember from my childhood!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I really need to get myself an ice cream maker! I absolutely love pistachios and in ice cream they would be altogether irresistible!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I do have pistachio flour and I am definitely going to make this. Pistacho ice cream is dream, so I know I'm going to love your gelato.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Lisa, your gelato looks heavenly to me. I love everything pistachio and I bet the grainy texture of your ground pistachios gives the dish even more depth.
    You continue to share such inspiring recipes. Thanks!
    -E

    ReplyDelete
  19. There's a place in LA that makes incredible pistachio gelato -- Bulgarini's. I've never tasted anything so intensely pistachio before. But I bet this would give it a run for the money. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh man - this looks so good! Seeing that the nice weather is already here in March, I think I definitely need to invest in an ice cream maker this year! Pistachios are one of my favorites!

    ReplyDelete
  21. wow, this looks so good! You are very clever!

    ReplyDelete
  22. How can it not be completely pistachio? Look at that bag of pistachios! THIS is real stuff! :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. This is in my near future! Can't wait to break out the ice cream machine! Looks delectable!

    ReplyDelete
  24. This gelato looks too tasty! I love nutty ice creams and homemade = even better :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Double Nutella Birthday treat

    ReplyDelete
  25. This looks great. I have been making a lot of ice cream lately because I bought all of these ice cream tubs. I would love to move into more gelatos. Yum!

    ReplyDelete
  26. We were on holidays last week, and I tried pistachio ice cream for the first time. It was delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I really need to get my ice cream maker out. The bowls have been in the back of my freezer for a really long time. This looks great!

    ReplyDelete

Blogging tips