Friday, August 26, 2011

Gelato Siciliano - Pistachio Ice Cream from Sicily

According to Gudiya, I am a picky eater. Wasn't there a time when mothers used to complain about it? ;-) Anyways, Gudiya's complaint is mainly about my pickiness about her most favorite food - Ice-Cream! It's true. I am extremely fastidious about ice-cream. I generally check the ingredients and if it contains eggs, it just puts me off. My favorite ice-cream is still Naturals, Mumbai and Indian Kulfi. I do not like too artificial flavors.

In America, I love Gelattos - Italian ice-creams. They have different flavors like lavender & rose. My most favorite ice-cream shop is Ferrara in NYC. They serve the best pistachio ice-cream ever. Now, I do not know if they add eggs or not. But I do like it. Ferrara is located in the little italy - Italian neighborhood. You hear the servers speaking Italian - Bon Giorno! They have an ice-cream cart right outside their equally famous bakery and restaurant. They serve many different flavors. But pistachio is my most favorite. Hence, whenever I spot a Pistachio ice-cream recipe, I immediately try it. I have tried Ms. Gourmet's Pistachio Rose icecream  when Nupur  had blogged about it.

I bought Saveur Magazine Desserts booklet for 10 cents at a garage sale because it had a recipe of pistachio gelatto - with a note that southern Italian gelatto ice-creams are lighter than its more eggy northern Italian counterparts. So they do not have eggs in it. Hurray! Now, that's what I like.

Pistachio Gelatto
4 cups milk (preferably organic whole milk)
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 cups shelled, unsalted pistachios, finely ground in a spice mill or food processor

1. Bring 3 cups of the milk to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat.
2. Meanwhile, combine remaining milk with sugar and corn starch in a bowl. Stir into hot milk
3. Return the saucepan to heat and cook, stirring till the mixture thickens slightly  about 8 - 10 minutes
4. Add pistachio powder to hot milk mixture. Stir. Allow to cool. Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight
5. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, pressing ground pistachios with the back of a wooden spoon.
6. Process the sieved custard in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
7. Enjoy!

Note -
1. The magazine says to discard the pistachios which remain in the sieve. I have frozen them and will reuse them later.
2. Use unsalted pistachios for this recipe.
3. Since this recipe does not have heavy cream or eggs, do use whole milk.


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