… and nutty all over?
No, not a Christmas wreath with nuts, silly – home-made pistachio and dried cherry ice cream! Well, not really.
I’ve never quite grasped why or how pistachio ice cream attains a fiendishly neon green glow in ice cream shops. Yes, the outter surface of pistachio nuts is pea green, but the flesh, and majority of the nut is actually beige, or a creamy caramel colour (if describing in edible terms). In reality, a truly natural pistachio ice cream should have more of a sandy shade, with tiny flecks of green.
Here’s my recipe for pistachio ice cream, which is the result of a few test recipes. What I especially like about this version is that it has a lot of texture; a very bold and rough mouthfeel. The soft nuggets of bright tart-sweet dried cherries are gems in this heafty and gritty ice cream.
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cup milk
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup pistachio nuts, shelled and de-skinned
1/3 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Plunge the pistachios into the boiling water and stir vigorously for half a minute. Drain the nuts, discarding the water. Remove whatever skin is left. When the nuts are cool enough to handle, pat dry and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, whisk the milk and half of the cream together and bring to a low simmer. Be careful not to scald the milk and cream. Continuing whisking to make sure that the sugar is dissolved. Let the mixture simmer on low heat, for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the bottom from scalding.
3. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the nuts. Slowly mix in the remaining cup of heavy cream.
4. Carefully pour the hot mixture into a blender. With one hand firmly holding the lid in place, liquify for 1 to 2 minutes. I like nut ice creams to have a bit of grit, so I blend it until I see my desired-sized bits of nuts.
5. Pour the liquified nut mixture into a bowl and stir in the chopped cherries. Set aside to cool.
6. When the mixture has cooled, refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
7. When the mixture has chilled, churn it in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.