Thursday 23 September 2010


Pistachio icecream is one of my all time favourites. After drooling over David Lebovitz's version for a long time, I decided to finally try it out, with a few tweaks. David uses pistachio cream made from Sicilian pistachios, however, budget constraints mean that I really cannot afford it. So my pistachios came from an Asian store on 34 Ave in Edmonton, and I think, were from Iran. Normally I am always able to get shelled pistachios, but for some reason most of my usual stores were out of them, so I ended up having to shell a bunch of unsalted ones. Ow, did my fingers ever hurt!! I did do a decent job of shelling them though, and while the paste wasn't the bright green of David's Bronte Crema di Pistacchio, it wasn't too bad either.

The pistachio taste is pretty intense in this recipe, so I toned it down a bit by whisking in some half and half, which, strictly speaking, makes this recipe ice cream, and not gelato. However, the finished product was delicious, and I served it with a drizzle of honey and a few chopped nuts, which really added to the taste.

While making the pistachio paste, I realised that my normal blender would not grind the paste finely, so I used my heavy duty Indian Panasonic Mixer Grinder, which worked perfectly. I also added some rosewater while grinding up the nuts, which I think really enhanced the taste, while offering up a delicate fragrance. Rosewater is normally quite powerful, so a little goes a long way, but here the pistachios are strong enough to hold their own in this case.

Aditi does the hard work of churning up the ice cream


For the pistachio paste -

1 cup (250 ml) shelled pistachio nuts
2 - 3 tbsp rosewater
4 - 5 tbsp honey or to taste
1/3 cup warm water

For the ice cream

2 cups whole milk (3.25%) (500 ml)
2 tbsp cornflour/ corn starch
1/2 cup sugar (125 ml)
1/2 cup half and half (125 ml)


In a powerful blender, grind the pistachios, rosewater, honey and warm water to a fairly smooth paste. Transfer to a bowl and pop into the fridge.
Take 1/4 cup milk and whisk in the cornflour till smooth. Heat the remaining milk with the sugar, up to boiling point (do not allow to boil), then whisk in the milk/ cornflour mixture. Heat for another 3 - 4 minutes, stirring constantly, and not allowing the mixture to boil. Take off the heat, allow to cool right down, and then whisk in the half and half. Transfer to a bowl and put into the fridge for at least 2 - 3 hours, until cold.

Mix together the pistachio paste and the milk mixture, refrigerate for a while longer, if possible overnight. Churn the chilled mixture in an icecream maker until done. Serve with a drizzle of honey and a few chopped nuts.



  1. I've had pistachio kulfi a number of times and enjoyed it, especially the texutre of some fo the nuts. But never made pistachio ice-cream myself. I agree with you and can imagine the flavour being rather intense. The colour is pretty cool.

    Also wanted to say, I've been reading your blog right from the start. You began around the same time as me which made me smile. After reading you blog a little more, I actually remember watching you on Masterchef too. Its def a lot more competitive now, so I praise you for your participation and contribution of wonderful recipes.

    I hope you settle well into your new home with your family. Kind wishes

  2. Looks lovely.

    Ice Cream machine added to my long list of "Kitchen equipment, I'd like to buy" :)

  3. Have you been to the Italian Center (51st ave) or the Bulk Barn in South Edmonton Common? Both carry shelled pistachios.

  4. Have you tried the Italian Center http://www.italiancentre.ca/ (95th Street or 51st Ave)
    or the Bulk Barn in South Edmonton Common http://www.bulkbarn.ca/en-ca/index.html? both carry shelled pistachios.

  5. Thank you so much.I too make idlis usingPanasonic Mixer Grinder .But I use idli rava .I am definitely going to try your recipe. I think yours will be the first blog to give this recipe,all others use grinders.also I use a cup of cooked rice.this makes the idlis soft.Anyway thank you again.


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