In recent years we have encountered many homemade ice cream shops, and especially in the Italian style of gelato: ice cream that is fluffy, velvety and chewy, not at all hard or frozen. This type of ice cream is usually consumed all year round, since it’s more of a delicious, cool pastry. It’s impressive how many ice cream flavors there are… I think part of the pleasure that an ice cream walk offers is when we… look at the types of ice cream in the showcases. What usually happens to me is that while I know what I will choose, when I go into such a shop I need a little while before I finally order it. I want to read labels with the flavors of ice cream, the fresh fruits they offer, the different types of chocolate they use, the types of coffee and drinks on which they base many of their recipes, and the nuts (be it peanuts, macadamia or hazelnuts) they choose for their tastes.
The quality of ice cream depends on the quality of the source material. How many times have we tasted pistachio ice cream, for example, and it turns out to be product with a bright green color and a taste that only kind of reminds you of pistachio? But there are also some ice cream stores that make ice cream of such high quality that you not only want to visit them all them, but you’re inspired to try and make it yourself at home. This is what has happened to us with pistachio ice cream and certain gelato places.
This highly realistic pistachio flavor, brackish and delicious, shows that the raw material is truly excellent. Of course, good professionals use supplies of pistachio pastes from very good varieties that we amateurs cannot find easily. But my first attempt at pistachio ice cream at home was very encouraging.
Until your own attempt at homemade pistachio ice cream, try Zillions and Ninnolo in Kifissia, Solo Gelato in Chalandri, and Le Creche close to Syntagma square; these are – in my opinion – some of the best Italian ice cream shops in Athens.
- 100g Aegina variety pistachio, powdered in the blender
- 250ml of 35% cream
- 250ml whole fresh milk
- 120g sugar
- 20g corn flour
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 egg yolks
- a pinch of salt
Place a medium pot on medium heat, pour the milk, add the sugar and salt and stir well until the sugar is completely melted.
Then pour the pistachio powder into the milk mixture and stir well. Slightly lower the heat.
In a bowl, pour the egg yolks, the corn flour, the vanilla extract and half the cream, and mix well.
With a ladle, take the hot milk mixture and slowly pour into the egg mixture while stirring continuously, just like when you make egg-lemon sauce. After the whole mixture of hot milk is poured into the bowl, pour the new mixture back into the saucepan and add the rest of the cream. Continue boiling in medium heat until it gets thicker in texture, while stirring with the wire.
To make sure that the blend is ready, dip in a silicone spatula or a spoon. If the mixture appears as solid as you see in the picture, then you are good to go.
Empty the contents of the pot in a large bowl and let it cool down completely, then put the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 5-6 hours.
Pour the cold mixture into the ice cream machine or the mixer bowl. If you use an ice cream machine, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you use the mixer, beat it for 5 minutes, leave it for 2 hours in the freezer and repeat the process once or twice more, depending on how easily the ice cream clogs.
Store the ice cream in the freezer.