Pistachio Ice Cream

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You could serve this with a shard or crumblings of pistachio praline scattered on top or a nice chunk of dark chocolate. I like it with beautiful red quinces, either baked or poached in syrup. Make sure your pistachios are a lovely bright green to start with. You won’t need the egg whites here, so save them in your freezer for another time.

Ingredients

  • 100 g ( cup) shelled unsalted pistachio nuts (200 g/7 oz unshelled)
  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) pouring (single) cream
  • 1 tablespoon good brandy
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 120 g (4 oz) caster (superfine) sugar

Method

Peel the reddish-brown skins from the pistachios to reveal the bright green nuts. (If the skins won’t come away easily, drop the nuts into boiling water for a minute or so and then drain and peel them.) Put the nuts in a blender and pulse into coarse bits. Transfer them to a saucepan with the milk, cream and brandy and bring just to a rolling boil. Remove from the heat and, with a hand-held mixer, purée until fairly smooth. (It won’t get completely smooth, and this will give your ice cream some texture.)

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together for about 5 minutes until pale and creamy. Stir in a ladleful of the hot pistachio cream to acclimatise the eggs and then gradually add the rest. Return the mixture to the saucepan over very low heat and stir constantly for 4–5 minutes until it thickens. (Do not have the heat too high or the eggs will scramble.)

Remove the custard from the heat and leave it to cool completely, whisking every now and then to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Transfer to a bowl, cover and put in the freezer.

After an hour, remove the bowl from the freezer, give an energetic whisk with a hand whisk or electric mixer and return the bowl to the freezer. Whisk again after another couple of hours. When it is nearly firm, give one last whisk, transfer to a suitable freezing container with a lid and let it set in the freezer until it is firm.

Alternatively, pour the mixture into your ice-cream machine and freeze, following the manufacturer’s instructions.