Friday, November 7, 2014

Pistachio gelato

This really is a nut lover’s dream gelato, especially if you make the walnut variation.

* Makes about 1 1/2 pints
  • 2 cups shelled pistachios
  • a few drops of pure almond extract
  • a few drops of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 recipe gelato di crema

Soak the shelled pistachios in boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain and rub off the skins with a clean cloth. Grind the nuts to a paste in a blender or food processor with a few drops each of almond and vanilla extract, adding just a very little hot water to help create a smooth purée.

Prepare the basic gelato or one of its variations. Stir the purée into the gelato, taste, and add a few more drops of either or both extracts, if necessary, to taste.

Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s directions or into a freezer container and use the hand-mixing method. Stop churning when it is almost firm, transfer to a freezer container, and leave in the freezer for 15 minutes before serving, or until required.

A rich nut ice cream like this should not be frozen for more than a couple of weeks. Take it out of the freezer 15 minutes before serving to soften slightly.

Variations:
  • Crunchy roasted pistachio gelato
Roast 1 cup shelled pistachio nuts until they smell wonderful and begin to change color. Roughly chop, then let cool completely. Prepare the basic pistachio gelato, stirring in the roasted nuts just before it is fully frozen.
  • Walnut & pistachio gelato
Prepare the basic recipe, stirring in 1/2 cup roasted, cooled, and chopped walnuts before it is fully frozen.
  • Honey & yogurt pistachio gelato
Replace 1/2 cup of the light cream of basic recipe with 3 tablespoons clear honey and 1 cup thick Greek yogurt.
  • Pomegranate pistachio gelato
Prepare the basic recipe, stirring in 1/2 cup roasted and cooled pomegranate seeds before it is fully frozen. Serve drizzled with pomegranate syrup.
  • Pistachio halva gelato
Prepare the basic recipe, stirring in 1/2 cup crumbled pistachio halva just before the final freezing.