Cooking and baking are all about the details – those little touches changes that make it extra special. They are subtle but add that little yo no se quoi to anything you’re making. Like searing meats before they go into a braise to lock in their flavor. Or adding a touch of lemon zest to your seafood for extra brightness. Or sprinkling fresh baked chocolate chip cookies with a touch of sea salt to enhance the chocolate flavor.
Another one of my kitchen secrets is roasting nuts. Before adding nuts to any of my recipes, from cookies to pesto, I take an extra 10 minutes to roast them in the oven. Just 10 minutes is all it takes to wake up the nuts and make them robust and oh so … nutty.
So when I came across this recipe for Roasted Pistachio Ice Cream I knew it was going to be awesome. It starts with a paste made with ground roasted pistachios that is combined with the milk/cream mixture. And right before churning, a touch of almond extract is added, which makes the ice cream taste so wonderfully pistachioy.
It’s a truly special treat and perfect enough to bid farewell to summer. And one I am certainly going to keep in my rotation no matter what the weather is like outside.
Roasted Pistachio Ice Cream
1/2 cup shelled unsalted pistachios (plus 1/2 cup if you want to add whole ones to your ice cream)
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spread 1/2 cup of pistachios on to a dry baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until they become fragrant and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and grind them in a food processor until they form a smooth paste.
Combine two tablespoons of the milk and the corn syrup in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry and set aside.
Whisk the cream cheese with the salt and pistachio paste until smooth in a medium bowl and set aside.
Combine the remaining milk, heavy cream, sugar and corn syrup in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium heat and cooking, stirring with a heatproof spatula until slightly thickened for about a minute. Remove from the heat.
Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese/pistachio paste, continuing to whisk until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the ice cream base. Let stand in the refrigerator until cold, about 2 hours.
Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister of your ice cream maker. Then add the almond extract. Churn according to the manufacturer's instructions, until thick and creamy. Pack the ice cream unto a storage container, layering with additional pistachios if you choose to do so, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.