My ultimate Pistachio Ice Cream

I didn’t get to make ice cream last week as I had a bit of a busy one but have been wanting to try making my own pistachio ice cream for a while.

We had a local supplier make a version for our ice cream van but whilst it was gelato rather than ice cream it really didn’t cut it for me so Ive spent the weekend researching different methods.

There seem to be two schools of thought on the perfect pistachio iced treat – either gelato with no egg but using cornflour (cornstarch to my american chums) or more traditional ice cream using an egg based custard.

As the star of the show here is a nut I felt that using egg based custard may be a little too rich  but was concerned at how a gelato style would turn out (based solely on past experience)

I’ve settled on the recipe below as a compromise, using good bought custard (which is still not egg based), seems the easiest and I like the idea of whipping the cream to give a really creamy base to bring out the best in the pistachios.


  • 100g shelled pistachios
  • 150ml semi skimmed milk
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 300ml double cream
  • 300ml really good ready-made custard


  • Finely grind 3/4 of the your pistachio’s in a food processor. Finely chop the remaining pistachios and set aside till later.
  • In a pan gently bring the pistachio dust, milk and sugar to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat, leave to cool, then chill for at least 3 hours (preferably overnight)
  • Whip the cream to soft peaks. then fold in the custard.
  • if you want a smooth ice cream then at this point strain the milk to remove any nut dust (no jokes please lol) I didnt bother as i like nut dust- either way add this to the custard mix and combine fully.
  • Churn in an ice cream machine with the gelato blade until you reach your required consistency – usually about 45-50 minutes –  remembering to add your reserved chopped nuts 10 minutes before the end
  • If you like this soft set then eat now – but I prefer this popped into the freezer for a couple of hours – and will be enjoying mine after dinner tonight from a waffle cone in front of Downton

So there you have it, creamy, nutty, gorgeousness with limited work (the hardest part was stirring the sugar and milk as everything else involved a machine!!)  DIVINE!!!



On using bought custard – I have cheated on the custard but feel free to make your own to make this totally authentic. You can find recipes elsewhere on my site. I feel this is a little lighter than a pure egg custard so will be sticking with this going forward

To strain or not to strain – this is completely up to you – if you like smooth ice cream then feel free to strain – I prefer more texture and felt that the nut dust would add just that little bit more of a flavour hit so didnt

On the colour – this wont have the creamy green of bought pistachio ice cream as it hasn’t got any food colouring added.  If this is your desire then feel free to add – but I like this more natural look and feel, and the addition of the nuts to the ice cream means you get a more rounded taste.

on the serving suggestion – You don’t have to enjoy this ice cream from a waffle cone OR in front of Downton but until you have tried it you will never know – but lets face it everything is better with Downton!!


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