Pistachio Gelato

Sicily is very famous for its nut production, especially almonds and pistachios.  There is a town in the Eastern part of Sicily called Bronte which is reknowed for the quality of the pistachios that grow in the area.  I wanted to make ice cream and serve it in a brioche (as it is typically served on the streets of Sicily) for the Sicilian Street Food New Year’s Eve Party I organised for this month’s Foodbuzz 24×24 event, and pistachio flavoured ice cream seemed like the perfect match to represent the island.  Making ice cream is not hard, but when it comes to nut based ice creams, you are going to need to make a “paste” out of the nuts you choose.  You can buy it or make it at home and that is not hard either, but I found that the pistachio paste I made, although delicious, did not come out as green as I wanted it.  The truth is, my pistachios were not very green to begin with… but that’s all I could find here.  If you can, buy green unsalted pistachios.  That should help getting a natural colour.  Otherwise, you can add a little liquid green food colour or, if you are as lucky as me to find it, add some pistachio essence (that came already coloured in green) for both some colour and taste.  For the pistachio ice cream, I used Giulia’s recipe from AlterKitchen (with some minor modifications… I had to make my own pistachio paste and used a little extra to get the same taste) and it was a success!  I will definitely be making this again!

For the pistachio paste – Recipe adapted from Cook Around 

90 gms – 3.2 oz. unsalted pistachios, skinned
90 gms – 3.2 oz. sugar
30 gms – 1 oz. water

Start by cleaning the pistachios.  Just put them in hot boiling water for 2 to 5 minutes, this will help you to remove all the skins easily.  Remove the skins by rubbing the hot pistachios between your fingers.  Dry them well after the skins have been removed.

Melt the sugar and water on a low fire (1), until you obtain a light golden caramel (2).  Add the pistachios and stir well (3).  Remove from the fire and spread on some baking paper to cool down (4).

When completely cold and hard, break it into smaller pieces and put it in the mixer.

Mix well until obtaining a creamy paste.  Keep aside.

For the pistachio gelato – Recipe adapted from AlterKitchen

3 eggs, divided into egg whites and yolks
250 ml – 1 cup heavy cream
100 gms – 3.5 oz. icing sugar
90 gms – 3.2 oz. pistachio paste (I used all the above paste)

Green colour (optional)
Pistachio essence/green paste (optional)

Start by whipping the egg yolks with the icing sugar (1), until pale and smooth.  Add the pistachio paste (2) you made and whatever colour and/or essence you may be using.  Stir well (3-4).

In 2 separate bowls, whip both the cream and the egg whites until firm peaks form.

Gently fold the whipped cream into the egg yolk and pistachio mixture.  Then fold in the egg whites.  Gently mix until well incorporated.

Churn for 25 – 30 minutes in an ice cream maker or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Transfer into a container, cover it with cling wrap (make sure it touches the ice cream, so no air can pass through) and freeze for at least 3 hours before serving.

This gelato is great to be eaten as is, but it is perfect to be served in a Brioche*, the way it is served in Sicily!  Enjoy!

Pistachio Gelato

*a brioche is a round Panino al latte, with a little extra ball of dough on the top.

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29 Responses to PISTACHIO GELATO

  1. Baker Street says:

    Gelato with a brioche! Yummmm!

  2. Beautiful! I love the serving suggestion too; the brioche looks wonderful!

  3. Manu, I was thinking “Oh, God, I love pistachio gelato”… and it was “my” gelato! So glad you liked it!! And you gave it a nice twist with the pistachio croccante!

  4. Amy says:

    We just got a new ice cream maker for Christmas and the hubby loves pistachio ice cream. Gelato? Even better!

  5. Kiri W. says:

    I always get pistachio gelato when home in Europe. This makes me wish once again I had an ice cream maker! Wonderful, it looks like your gelato is pure perfection!

  6. beti says:

    it sounds amazing! as strange as it sounds I’ve never really liked pistachio ice cream it’s always kinda weird but you gelato looks fantastic

  7. Kim Bee says:

    Oh my goodness, I wish I lived closer to you so I could pop with a spoon and a smile. Love this so much. I am a pistachio freak, cannot eat enough of them.

  8. Asiya says:

    Looks fantastic! I just bought an ice cream maker attachment for my mixer so now I can try this recipe!

  9. This looks fabulous Manu! Must be wonderful on the brioche.

  10. Alyssa says:

    I love pistachios, so this is right up my alley! The color is beautiful too

  11. wok with ray says:

    Beautiful and delicious looking Gelato! I love Pistachio!

  12. Liz says:

    Beautiful, Manu! And I’ve never heard of serving gelato in brioche…lovely~

  13. Sandra says:

    This is a beautiful and creative recipe, Congratulations on Today’s Top 9!

  14. We’re crazy about pistachio ice cream in our house and serving it like this looks fabulous. Great recipe from Giulietta and your crrrrunch. Congrats on Top9 today, Manu.

  15. I love this. A nice little trip to Sicily.

  16. Karen says:

    I would have never thought to put gelato and brioche together, but it sounds amazing! Especially your pistachio gelato…perfect!

  17. This looks so good! Congrats on your top 9!

  18. Lauren says:

    Pistachio ice cream has to be one of my all times favourites (along with white chocolate). Never made it myself though, thanks for the recipe.

  19. This looks like heaven. Is there any way that this recipe would work with almond milk or possibly skim? I have no heavy cream on hand.

    • Manu says:

      Hi Katie! Thanks! :-)
      I must admit I have never made ice cream with almond milk, so I have no idea whether it would work or not… :-(
      I have tried to make nut based ice creams with milk and mine always turned out a bit more on the “icy” side… they were still good in taste, but not as creamy. I hope this helps! :-)

  20. ericggavin says:

    it looks good

  21. Cathy W says:

    What a beautiful presentation! I wouldn’t have thought to put gelato in brioche, but it makes perfect sense.

  22. Often now when you go to gelaterie, the really good pistachio looks more greyish than green…I guess it is just how it looks without the coloring. I love the caramel addition to the paste. When I made it, I just blended the pistachios with sugar.

  23. Manuela che spettacolo il tuo gelato! ….Mi fai venire una fame!!!!! :)

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  27. Scotty says:

    Thanks for the recipe! I used it just for the pistachio paste, but after blending, the mixture didn’t resemble a creamy paste. It was still somewhat dry and crumbly. The only thing I did differently was, after cleaning the skin off the nuts, toasting them to restore their original texture (I had done this before finding your recipe, but figured it would be OK to use them). Maybe I lost some of the nut oil by doing that. Anyway, I ended up blending in about 1/2 tsp of honey to get the right consistency.

    • Manu says:

      Hi Scotty!! Yes, I think roasting them might have “dried” them a bit too much… but adding honey was a great idea! :-) I am sure the paste tastes delicious anyway! :-)

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