Homemade pistachio ice cream isn't naturally a garish sea foam green - who knew?? No, it's much more subtle - and a whole lot more flavourful than store-bought. Make it. Now! You'll thank me.
1/2 cup shelled roasted pistachios (see below), cooled and ground into a paste/powder in a coffee grinder
another 1/2 cup shelled roasted pistachios
1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract
4 tablespoons amaretto
1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)
Make the Plain Base (below) and chill as directed.
In a blender, combine the pistachio paste, almond extract, amaretto, and xanthan gum with half of the base. Blend until smooth, then whisk into the remaining base. Pour the mixture into the container of an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Add the whole pistachios 5 minutes before the churning is completed. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Spread the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Place the baking sheet in the oven, and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the nuts are fragrant and lightly browned. Remove from the oven, transfer to a plate, and cool. Cool completely before using.
* Plain Base
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
In a heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the milk and cream. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally so a skin doesn't form, until tiny bubbles start to form around the edges and the mixture reaches a temperature of 170F.
Meanwhile, in a medium heat-proof bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Gradually whisk in the sugar until it is well incorporated and the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Temper the egg yolks by very slowly pouring in the hot milk mixture while whisking continuously. Return the custard to the saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and it reaches a temperature of 185F. Do not bring to a boil.
Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl and let cool to room temperature, stirring every 5 minutes or so. To cool the custard quickly, make an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water and placing the bowl with the custard in it; stir the custard until cooled. Once completely cooled, cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Based on the recipe found in The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato & Sorbetto by F.W. Pearce and Danila Zecchin, copyright 2010. Published by Clarkson Potter.