Back to Home About Mango & Tomato Contact MePublicity & News Hire Me!Portfolio


Pistachio Ice Cream: Domenica Marchetti's recipe with my twist

Back in February, I shared with you some of the photographs I took of Domenica Marchetti.

One of those photographs is now in Domenica's latest cookbook, Rustic Italian, published by Williams Sonoma. I'm so excited: this is the first time my work is in print. {squeal}

A few weeks ago, my friend Cecilia called me to let me know she received a preview copy of the book and made one of the recipes: Pistachio ice cream with Shaved Chocolate. I knew that would be the first recipe I'd make from the book too!!

Lo and behold, a week later, a copy of the gorgeous Rustic Italian was waiting for me. The photos are absolutely gorgeous and I love that the cover of the book is slightly cushioned: you'll have to check it out at the store to understand exactly what I mean.

I paged through, found the recipe for the Pistachio Ice Cream with Shaved Chocolate and headed to the store to buy milk and cream; all the other ingredients I already had.

(book cover photo courtesy of William Sonoma; photo of pistachios is mine)

Gelato Al Pistacchio
Pistachio Ice Cream with Shaved Chocolate
Makes about 1 QT. Serves 6.

¾ cup unsalted roasted pistachio nuts
6 tablespoons whole milk, plus 1 ½ cups whole milk
1 ½ cups heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
Pinch of fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, shaved or finely chopped


Put the pistachios in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, drizzle in the 6 tablespoons milk and process until a creamy paste forms, about 1 minute. Scrape the pistachio paste into a bowl.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the 1 ½ cups milk and the cream and warm until just at the point of simmering. Remove from the heat.
In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt until thick and pale yellow. Slowly drizzle a ladleful of the hot milk mixture, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling. Whisk in another ladleful of the hot milk mixture, then slowly whisk the egg mixture back into the saucepan. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until a custard forms that lightly coats the back of the spoon, about 15 minutes.

Strain the hot custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl and let cool slightly, then whisk in the pistachio paste. Stir in the almond extract, if using. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight. Freeze the custard in an ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When the custard has thickened in the machine, add the chocolate and continue to mix just until well blended. Spoon the gelato into a container with a tight-fitting lid, cover, and freeze until firm, about 4 hours. Divide among dessert bowls to serve.

Recipe appears with permission from Williams-Sonoma Rustic Italian. Recipes by Domenica Marchetti. Copyright 2011 by Weldon Owen Inc. and Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

Let's talk custard: after making the pistachio/milk paste, I set out to do the custard. I combined the sugar and the eggs and then started to heat up the milk and cream. Then I combined the two and started to heat them up again.

DISASTER! The eggs looked like they've been scrambled. Of course I panicked. I cursed. I turned to Twitter for help, I also called Cecilia and left a message for Domenica. The concensus was to try and whisk the mixture again and the put it through a sieve. I did. But it did not really work out too well.

Plus, I was nervous that I would add the pistachios and the whole thing would be ruined. I decided to throw in my white flag.....but only till I would have time to buy more milk and cream and try again.

The next day, I set out to make the custard again. This time around, I used 2 more egg yolks and took my time. I heated the milk and cream slowly, then poured it into a Pyrex cup and super slowly and carefully dripped the milk/cream mixture into the egg yolk/sugar mixture, while whisking it continuously.

Then I poured back the mixture into my Le Creuset and heated  it very slowly, whisking it, while talking on the speaker phone with my mom and taking notes on the Marinated Eggplant Salad recipe (I will post that on Monday): I'm pretty good at multitasking.

This time around, the custard was gorgeous!! I swear: not a single lump. It was smooth, silky and tasted oh so sweet. The hardest part was letting it cool in the fridge for 4 hours before adding it to my ice cream maker.

I deviated slightly from Domenica's recipe: I did not have 3 ounces of chocolate, so used about 2 ounces of Ghirardelli Sea Salt Soiree and 1/4 cup chopped pistachios.

The result is unbelievable. I'm so proud of myself for not giving up. The ice cream was sweet, with a great pistachio flavor and I loved the dark salted chocolate that laced through it. I'm happy to report that I managed not to eat the entire ice cream quite just yet. I even shared it with a few friends.

Have a fabulous weekend, especially if you are lucky enough to have a 3 day weekend!!! I'll hopefully be doing some great eating, relaxing, and taking a zillion photos that I'll be sharing with you very soon.


mary said...

Great color contrast in this photo. I love the idea of pistachio ice cream!

Delicious Dishings said...

Heat very, very slowly. That is the biggest tip I would have given you. Looks like the end result worked out!

Congrats again on the photo publication! (I am hoping a copy of that book will arrive in my mailbox any day now and then I'll see it up close and personal.)

Cecilia said...

Gorgeous! Oh and the Ghirardelli Sea salt Soiree must have been amazing in it! I will definitely be making this ice cream again.

Anonymous said...

First of all, congratulations, that is a big deal, you must be feeling so proud!
Pistachio ice cream is one of my all time favorites, I so wish I could sample the product... you know, quality control and all!
Have a great weekend.
*kisses* HH

Esi said...

Woo! Congrats on being printed. The ice cream sounds fab! Pistachio is my favorite!!

Ali said...

What a heavenly ice cream recipe. Looks so delicious. Nice post, thanks for sharing :)