Pistachio Ice Cream

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Video Recipe pistachio ice cream

Pistachio Ice Cream is a traditional ice cream flavor that comes with lots of nostalgia.

This French style pistachio ice cream is made with a creamy custard base, chopped nuts, and has the perfect amount of sweetness.

This Pistachio Ice Cream recipe is naturally gluten free.

three glasses, two with cones of pistachio ice cream in them. One with a stack of sugar cones. Glasses are surrounded by pistachios

If you like your ice cream to have lots of texture, like this pistachio ice cream, try Cookies and Cream Ice cream.

Toasted Almond Ice Cream is another delicious ice cream recipe that has the perfect balance of sweetness and crunch.

Why you’re going to love this Pistachio Ice Cream

Pistachio ice cream is a classic, traditional flavor that has been popular since the 1940’s and has never gone out of style. It’s right up there with chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry as one of the most iconic scoop shop flavors.

This pistachio ice cream recipe has quite a few steps, but it will be worth it when you taste how creamy and flavorful homemade pistachio ice cream is.

Not only are we adding pistachios to the mix, but we’re cooking them into the base to get all of their sweet nutty flavor out for our pistachio ice cream.

This French style pistachio ice cream starts with an egg custard base, making it super creamy and rich.

Ingredients needed for pistachio ice cream, each in separate bowls on a marble countertop.

Pistachio Ice Cream Ingredients

Pistachios – Shelled roasted pistachios are added into the recipe at two different points to add maximum pistachio flavor.

Whole Milk – The first of our dairy items adds bulk and aids in getting the perfect creamy texture.

Granulated Sugar – For sweetness and texture, plain, white, granulated sugar is the perfect choice.

Egg Yolks – These create the base for our ice cream custard. We’ll gently heat the egg yolks to pasteurize them, but you can also purchase pasteurized eggs if you prefer.

Heavy Cream – A mix of both heavy cream and whole milk is what gives us the perfect creamy texture.

Vanilla Extract – a nice, high quality pure vanilla extract will give tons of warm vanilla flavor.

Almond Extract – just a bit of almond extract really enhances the flavor of the pistachios.

Green Food Coloring – You may or may not need this. It will depend on the color you get from cooking your pistachios. Sometimes I need to add a drop or two, and sometimes I don’t need any at all. Be careful not to add to much.

Almonds – Optionally, you can substitute ½ cup of the pistachios in the churn phase with ½ cup of chopped roasted almonds to create a pistachio almond ice cream.

If you have any questions on the ingredients in pistachio ice cream, please leave a comment below.

photo collage showing 8 steps needed to make pistachio ice cream

How to Make Pistachio Ice Cream

  1. In a food processor, combine 1 cup of pistachios with ¼ cup of granulated sugar. Process until finely ground. Add whole milk to a saucepan and heat over medium. Add the pistachio mixture and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and cover with a lid. Allow to steep for 1 hour.
  2. Strain the pistachios out of the mixture, pressing down as you strain to release all of the flavor. Return the liquid to the saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and remaining granulated sugar until smooth and pale yellow in color.
  4. Add about ½ cup of the hot pistachio flavored milk to the egg and sugar mixture and whisk constantly until combined. Then add the tempered egg mixture back to the saucepan with the remaining hot milk. Heat the saucepan on low, stirring constantly, until the base has thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon. Strain the mixture to remove any pieces of egg that may have cooked.
  5. Add the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and almond extract and stir to combine.
  6. Then add green food coloring, a little at a time, until you reach your desired color.
  7. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, making sure to have the plastic wrap touching the surface of the ice cream base. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, until cold. Churn the ice cream mixture in the bowl of your ice cream machine according to your manufacturer’s instructions, until it is thick and the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. In the last two minutes, add the remaining pistachios and churn until they are evenly distributed.
  8. Spoon the ice cream into a shallow container or loaf pan. Press plastic wrap or wax paper to the surface of the ice cream. Freeze for at least 4 hours, or until solid. Let sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes before serving.

These numbered steps match the numbered photos above and are for illustration purposes. For the complete list of ingredients and instructions n this pistachio ice cream, please see the recipe below.

pistachio ice cream being scooped with a silver ice cream scooper.

How to store Pistachio Ice Cream

Store this Pistachio ice cream in the freezer in an airtight container (we really like these reusable ice cream containers) with a piece of parchment paper or wax paper pressed on top for up to one month.

Tips for making pistachio ice cream

Use quality ingredients – When making homemade ice cream, you’ll want to make sure you are using high quality ingredients for the best outcome.

Chill out – If possible, always start with chilled ingredients. This is important for homemade no-churn ice cream recipes and ice cream maker recipes.

Don’t skimp on the fat – High fat milks and creams are essential when making homemade ice cream. Opting for a low-fat option often leads to icy ice creams and inconsistency in the texture.

Don’t skimp on the sugar – Sugar not only adds sweetness to homemade ice creams, it also helps with the texture. Sugar is essential for the creamy texture in ice cream.

Note that the pistachios are added in two different phases, once in the cooking stage and again in the churning stage.

You want to make sure you press as much milk out of the pistachios as possible when you are straining them. The pistachios will absorb milk during the steeping process and all of the flavor is in the pistachios. Press the pistachios with the back of a spoon or spatula to make sure you have as much liquid as possible for pistachio ice cream.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

a glass ice cream dish with multiple scoops of pistachio ice cream. In the background is a small bowl of pistachios and a sugar cone filled with pistachio ice cream.

No churn Pistachio Ice Cream

To make pistachio ice cream without an ice crema maker, chill a shallow container or a loaf pan in the freezer while you mix the ice cream ingredients.

Pour the ice cream mixture into the prepared pan and freeze for 3-4 hours. Stir the ice cream every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours to help add air. This will help create a creamy, smooth texture.

Pistachio Almond Ice Cream

You can make this ice cream extra special by substituting ½ cup of the pistachios with chopped roasted almonds during the churn phase of the recipe to make pistachio almond ice cream. Almonds are a great fit with this recipe since we’re already using the flavor of almond extract.

Pistachio Ice Cream Add-ins

Aside from pistachios and almonds, you could add any other nuts that you like into this pistachio ice cream recipe.

I wouldn’t add more than 1 cup of chopped nuts, too many nuts will make the ice cream difficult to scoop and eat.

Pistachio ice cream would go well with white chocolate chips or vanilla flavored cookie add-ins too.

More Homemade Ice Cream Recipes

  • Banoffee Pie Ice Cream
  • Coffee Flavored Ice Cream
  • Pineapple Ice Cream

Here are some of our favorite ice cream making tools:

  • Cuisinart 2QT Ice Cream Maker – Works with ice cream, sorbets, and frozen yogurt.
  • Loaf Pan – You can use any 9 x 13 loaf pan or a shallow pan, but we like this one.
  • Ice Cream Scoop – Make sure you have a good ice cream scoop. This is one of our favorites.
  • Ice Cream Bowls – You can use any bowl, but we think these are fun.
  • Ice Cream Containers – We love keeping a couple of ice cream containers on hand for when we make homemade ice cream.

Note: Each of these links will take you to the exact product on Amazon. As an Amazon associate, I earn a little from each qualifying purchase.

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