Thursday 8 September 2011

Honey Roast Pistachio Ice Cream

About ten days ago, I decided that I should make one last ice cream before I left Switzerland and therefore my summer holiday. As I've probably adapted way too many of David Lebovitz's amazing recipes, I thought I'd try something new. Enter Jeni Britton Bauer and her unusual recipe involving corn flour, cream cheese and corn syrup (or golden syrup for me). The final product has a slightly different texture I can't quite describe and a complex flavour.

While I was making it, I couldn't stop eating the pistachios, depleting the store in my bowl almost as quickly as I shelled them. Just to make things worse I roasted what was left with butter and honey. Even more addictive. You lose a bit of colour but it's worth it.

Afterwards I posted on twitter saying that if I could only ever bake with one nut, it would have to be pistachio. My desert island nut.

I hadn't expected the deluge of replies I would get. We made ourselves hungry brainstorming on the things you can do with various nuts. Pecans were a big hit after realising I had forgotten them (pecan & maple, pecan & brown butter, pecan & plum, pecan & butterscotch, pecan & chocolate (brownies!), praline... hungry yet?).

There were advocates for cashews, peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, walnuts and macadamias. What nut would you hate to be without?

Honey Roast Pistachio Ice Cream
(Ice cream adapted from Jeni Britton Bauer via Food and Wine)

For the pistachio ice cream:
115g shelled pistachios
550ml whole milk
1 tbsp + 1 tsp corn flour (cornstarch)
45g cream cheese
340ml double cream
150g caster sugar
1.5 tbsp golden syrup or light corn syrup

For the honey roast pistachios:
100g shelled pistachios
1 tbsp runny honey
10g unsalted butter

Whizz the pistachios in a food processor until fine. Prepare an ice bath. Whisk 2 tablespoons of milk with the cornflour in a small bowl to create a slurry. In a big bowl whisk the cream cheese until smooth. Put the milk, cream, caster sugar and golden syrup into a medium saucepan and bring it to the boil.

Take off the heat then pour some of the hot milk onto the cornflour slurry and whisk in. Pour back into the pan and whisk to combine. Bring back to the boil and cook until thickened - about one minute. Pour a little onto the cream cheese and whisk till smooth, then add the rest of the milk mix. Stir in the pistachios and sit in the water bath to chill.

When cold, cover with cling film and place in the fridge for at least four hours or overnight. Churn according to your machine's instructions.

Preheat the oven to 150C. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Rub the pistachios to try and remove any excess skin. Melt the butter and honey together in small pan. Remove from the heat and add the pistachios, mixing until they're all totally covered. Tip out onto the parchment paper and spread out. Place into the oven and roast for five minutes. Remove from the oven and stir. Leave to cool. They keep in an airtight container for at least a few days.

(Makes 1 ltr)


  1. I love nuts of all kind but if i had to choose I would go with nuts that go best with chocolate. Walnuts, pistachios and almonds. Oops fancy choose one. This ice cream sounds so different n amazing

  2. I've been wanting to make pistachio ice cream for a while but keep getting put off by books which say it's difficult or hugely expensive or you need specialist pastes flown in from god knows where... This looks fab though, and I like the idea of using cream cheese. Bet those honey buttered pistachios are amazing too.

    Oh, and there is life beyond The Perfect Scoop! Think I need to brand out too now I've find my ice cream feet :-)

  3. I think I'd really struggle without almonds, they're so versatile and I love using ground almonds rather than flour in baking.

    This ice cream makes an excellent case for pistachios though, it looks delicious.

  4. Oh, yum! It must be so delicious!

  5. Cashews and pistachios for me, definitely. One for savory, one for desserts.

  6. are the pistachios roasted and salted?...roasted and unsalted? raw?

  7. Your twitter convo about nuts made me so hungry. I've recently fallen in love with nuts myself and roasting them with honey and butter sounds heavenly :)

  8. I do that when I shell pistachios, too. I eat about half of them XD

    This sounds fabulous!

  9. This ice cream looks amazing, unlike so many others I have seen, there is a rustic quality to it which is quite rare in an ice cream. It looks comforting and inviting! And what an unsual mix of ingredients too!

  10. What an unusual ice cream recipe. I'm definitely intrigued!!! It looks fantastic though.

    I can't choose one nut to be without, I like too many - cashews, almonds and pistachios.

  11. Love Jeni's ice creams and this version looks delicious! What a fun combination to put together. Pistachios were actually one of the first nuts I remember eating - my dad and I would sit and shell them together.

  12. MMmm! Pistachio is definitely one of my favourites, which can be annoying since it's also one of the more expensive. I guess almond would have to be next for its versatility.

  13. I don't know if there would be any of those honey roasted pistachios left for the top of the ice cream, I am afraid I would eat them all! Sounds out of this world.

  14. Would have to be almonds for me, smoked and salty
    This recipe looks lovely, I need to upgrade to a decent ice cream maker one day.

  15. Emma, I agree with you about pistachios. I could eat 'em raw, salted, baked, tossed into salads and savory dishes too. My kids would agree as well... bring on the pistachios;)
    Your ice cream is making me too hungry:)

  16. I would probably have to say pecan because it is a nut I am without most of the time and my baking sorely misses it. I used to be able to find them in one supermarket here and they discontinued them too...sniffle


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