Saturday, October 22, 2011

Nuts about nuts : Pistachio Gelato

know what, i think i know why green and its various hues have always been my favorite color. Ever since i can remember. i mean, i have had fancies for leaf green, parrot green, turquoise green, bottle green, aqua green, teal green, charteuse and pista green to name a few (You know how gorgeous these colors look in the staedtler color pencils array right - its fabulous!). To expound on the last point: Ah, the color of good (read middle eastern) pistachios! The taste is synonymous with growing up in Dubai where nuts are a staple. It was a permanent fixture at home, in its raw unshelled glory or otherwise. My brother's favorite flavor of ice cream was the Pista. All to say, this recipe was waiting to happen! and i'm loving every lick of it. :D

A note about the gelato: It is more creamy than the previous attempt and i attribute it to the creaminess of this fabulous nut. Also, it makes you want to have more and more. So there, you are warned!

The recipe has been adapted from Mr. Lebovitz's and Aparna' recipe.
What you will need:
1/4 cup shelled pistachios
2 cups milk
1/2 cup cream
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons corn flour
a (big) handful of roasted and chopped (unsalted) pistachios to garnish

First we will need to make the pistachio paste which may sound complicated but is the coolest thing eva! Boil some water in a saucepan and add the pistachios in. Once it boils, switch off the flame and drain the water. Run under regular water to cool them and once cool to touch, remove the skin with hand.
Dry them best way you can on a paper towel and blitz these nuts in the grinder till you get as powdery as possible. Add a couple of tablespoons of milk from the milk required and continue to blitz till you get a smooth paste. Add the lemon juice, mix and keep aside.

Take another quarter cup of milk (also from the milk in the ingredients list) and dissolve the corn starch in it. Whisk to ensure none of it sediments in the bottom.

Bring the milk and sugar to a boil. Once it has, reduce the flame and add milk+corn flour mix and whisk in. Make sure it becomes a homogeneous mix. Continue to whisk till it reaches the custard like consistency (coat-the-back-of-your-spoon stage) and a minute after. Make sure you keep whisking it and that flame is on low, else you may potentially end up with burnt custard coating the bottom of your vessel. and you do NOT want that! (experience talking)

Take it off the flame and add the cream in and whisk. Allow to cool to room temperature before adding the pistachio paste. Whisk till smooth. Pour into a freezable flat bottomed container and pop into the freezer till it freezes. Once it has, blend the gelato using the blender to break up the ice crystals and pop back into the freezer to set. Repeat this process thrice. After the last time you blend it, add the chopped roasted pistachios and distribute evenly. Dig in!

P.S it is physically impossible to restrict the tasting to a few (ahem ahem!) spoonfuls of the gelato when blending it the various times that you have to. Really! Go on, try it for your self.  and say goodbye to those icky looking cardboard boxes (Eeww!!) of ice cream or the not-so-bad-looking ice cream tubs for good! :)

On another note, Happy and safe Diwali all! Spare a thought for the ozone, your carbon footprint, your finances and the poor hapless animals that are subjected to your torture of pyrotechnics before you burst the next deafening cracker (!!*#@$^&!!). The true spirit of Diwali i would like to think is in lighting diyas and eating loads of papdi chaat and gaajar ka halwa :D. Happy Diwali!


  1. Heyyy Nutty! Scatterbrain told me about this food Odyssey and I came by to say hi! Hi from bangalore! Keep cooking!
    Anu (or Calamity) and Tarun (Serenity in the blogosphere!)

  2. Are you serious. You are doing ice creams at home! Now I have to definitely come to Chennai.

  3. @The dangerous mind: this food odyssey is the manifestation of our affair with food photography and the food we make, so we r loving it every bit! is great to see u here Calamity! its a smaller world in blogosphere i guess. you have some maaad stuff in ur blog man! :)
    Happy blogging! and Hi to Serenity from the three of us!

  4. @Walia: You must, you must!!! Come off to hot and happening Chennai and you can cool off with some ice cold gelato, Pavan says :P

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