Thursday, August 9, 2018

P is for: Pistachio & Peach Ice Cream

When Justin and I made the big move to NYC last fall, we had to do quite a bit of downsizing. Like, A LOTTTTTTT. There was a Craig's List sale, a yard sale, and multiple trips to Goodwill.

One of the things I decided to part with was my Cuisinart ice cream maker (a Costco impulse buy back in 2012.) It's served me well over the years, including concoctions like Strawberry Balsamic Rosemary ice cream, Fernet Branca Ice Cream (with a ginger syrup back of course) and a Maple Bourbon Candied BACON & Pecan Ice Cream, just to name a few.

My reasoning was that it takes up quite a bit of room in the cupboard as a stand alone appliance. BUT... if you simply get the attachment for your Kitchenaid Stand Mixer, it doesn't take up any extra cupboard space as long as you store the bowl in the freezer. So my sister got me one for Christmas. Annnnnd that bowl has sat unused in the freezer ever since. Until now...



I decided to try my hand at a pistachio ice cream to coincide with the letter "P." And because I always love a good double-letter blog post, we incorporated some white peaches as well (despite having already made a grilled peach basil ice cream in the past.)


In retrospect, the peaches were a super subtle flavor, so I almost recommend just using as a topping or pureeing them to have a more even peach flavor (or skipping altogether if you want a traditional pistachio ice cream.) 


But if you ARE using peaches, here's what you do. Peel, seed and dice up 2 medium sized peaches. Sprinkle with some sugar, lemon juice and kirsch or vodka and allow them to sit and macerate. The alcohol will help the fruit from getting as "icy" in the freezer, though I still found them to be a tad on the crunchy side. I suspect if you were to also roast them (as I did with the Strawberry Balsamic Rosemary Ice Cream), this would cut down on this (removing some of the water), so I'm going to add that as an optional step in the recipe instructions.


Cover peach mixture and refrigerate several hours or overnight. (It needs to be cold before mixing into your ice cream base.)


As for the star of this ice cream... the pistachio flavor was amazingggg and very pistachio-y (is that a word? It is now.) That was thanks to a mixture of ground pistachios in the base, as well as chopped pistachios in the ice cream itself. Place 1 cup of shelled, unsalted pistachios in a food processor and add 3/4 cup of granulated sugar (I like this natural cane sugar from Whole Foods.) Process together until pistachios are finely ground.


I like a very creamy ice cream, so I use 2 cups of cream and 1 cup whole milk. You can reverse these amounts if you don't like it to be as decadent. Whatever you do... DO NOT  substitute with non-fat milk or you will get a very icy ice cream. Start with 1 cup whole milk and 1 cup of cream in a saucepan and begin to gently heat.


Add pistachio sugar mixture, and heat over medium until mixture has barely started to boil. Remove from the heat.


Meanwhile, crack the egg yolks into a medium bowl. The more yolks you use, the creamier your ice cream. You can use as many as you want (well, up to about 8-10 of them), but I generally go with 5-6. (I wouldn't go lower than 4.) Whisk until evenly beaten.


Now time for the tempering. You need to do this gradually so you achieve a custard and not scrambled pistachio eggs. Going about 1/4 cup at a time, whisk the milk mixture into the eggs. Continue on until the eggs and milk mixture are fully incorporated.


Return mixture to the saucepan and heat on medium-low, constantly whisking, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If you drag your finger across the spoon, it should leave a clear little path. (This will take about 10 minutes or so.)


Prepare an ice bath by placing ice and water in a large bowl and placing a smaller bowl inside with the remaining 1 cup of cream. Using a fine mesh sieve, pour custard mixture in, removing the chunky/gritty nuts. (Don't worry, we will add more pistachios later!)


Gratuitous droplet shot, thanks to my awesome photographer, Justin. :) Anyways, add in a little bit of almond extract (optional) & vanilla extract. Stir everything together for a few minutes until the mixture has cooled considerably. Add in the accumulated juices from the peaches. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. (I recommend overnight.)


Toast remaining pistachios in a heavy bottom pan until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Roughly chop.


Once the ice cream base has completely cooled, process in your ice cream maker, according to manufacturer's directions. (Mine took around 20 minutes.)


When ice cream is a few minutes from being finished, add in the most of the macerated peaches (reserving some for a topping if you like) and half of the chopped pistachios (again, reserving the rest for topping.)


Transfer into a chilled pan, top with 1/4 cup of the pistachios, cover and freeze.


If you like a soft serve consistency you can eat after a few hours, but for traditional ice cream, I would recommend letting it sit in the freezer overnight.


Spoon into chilled dishes....


Top with remaining chopped pistachios and peaches and additional fresh peaches, if you like!


Share some with your friend (or hungry photographer) and cool down in this crazy heat.


Mmmmmmm, tastes like summer. What's your favorite flavor of ice cream??

Pistachio & Peach Ice Cream

by Jaymee Sire
Prep Time: 1 day
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: dessert ice cream peach pistachio cream ice-cream summer

Ingredients (1 quart)
  • 2 fresh peaches (plus more for serving, if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon + 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon kirsch or vodka (optional, but recommended)
  • 2 cups shelled, unsalted pistachios (divided use)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 5-6 egg yolks
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract (optional, but if omitting, add more vanilla extract)
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
For peaches:
  1. Peel, seed and dice 2 medium peaches. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar & the lemon juice. Stir and allow to sit and macerate for 15 minutes.
  2. (Optional step to cut down on icy fruit): Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Place peach mixture on a foil-lined sheet pan and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Transfer fruit and accumulated juices to a bowl.
  3. Add kirsch or vodka to peach mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours (or overnight.)

For ice cream:
  1. Place 1 cup of shelled, unsalted pistachios in a food processor and add 3/4 cup of granulated sugar (I like this natural cane sugar from Whole Foods.) Process together until pistachios are finely ground.
  2. Pour 1 cup of the cream & the whole milk in a saucepan and begin to gently heat. Add pistachio sugar mixture, and heat over medium until mixture has barely started to boil. Remove from the heat.
  3. Whisk egg yolks in a medium bowl. Starting with 1/4 cup at a time, whisk the warm milk mixture into the eggs. Continue until the eggs and milk mixture are fully incorporated.
  4. Return mixture to the saucepan and heat on medium-low, constantly whisking, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. (About 10 minutes. Do not boil.)
  5. Prepare an ice bath by placing ice and water in a large bowl and placing a smaller bowl inside with the remaining cup of cream. Using a fine mesh sieve, pour custard mixture in, removing any solids. Add almond & vanilla extracts & any accumulated juices from the peaches. Stir everything together for a few minutes until the mixture has cooled considerably. Cover and refrigerate several hours until completely cooled, or overnight.
  6. Toast remaining pistachios in a heavy bottom pan until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Roughly chop.
  7. Place pan or container you plan to use to store ice cream in the freezer to chill.
  8. Process cooled ice cream base in ice cream maker, according to manufacturer's directions. When ice cream is a few minutes from being finished, add in the most of the macerated peaches (reserving some for a topping if you like) and half of the chopped pistachios (again, reserving the rest for topping.)
  9. Transfer into a chilled pan, top with 1/4 cup of the pistachios, cover and freeze. When ready to eat, scoop into chilled dishes, top with remaining chopped pistachios and peaches and add additional fresh peaches, if you like! (Consume within 3-4 days.)
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