Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Going Green

My oldest son is shaped something along the lines of a long, skinny tube. He's constantly hungry. Growing up he wouldn't eat a ton at any one time, he'd just eat constantly. A half an hour after dinner he'd come up to me with sucked in cheeks and Bambi eyes, asking for something to eat.

Once a friend from church offered to watch my kids for the afternoon. As I dropped them off I warned her that my son was prone to use the "F" word and the "S" word. When she got a horrified look on her face I hastily reassured her that in his case, those words were "food" and "snack."

Every year on his birthday and Christmas wish lists, he would always have snack items. Chips, candy, even a ham. He loved having a stash of items all to himself to snack on when hunger attacked. One year we gave him a bag of pistachios for Christmas. This was a rare treat, as we normally don't buy them and he adores them. He was thrilled until the next day when his grandparents came over to visit. His grandparents, too, love pistachios. They ate the entire bag.

So this ice cream is dedicated to the boy who watched his Christmas present be eaten by his grandparents, only whimpering slightly.

When we picked the Apricot Pistachio Ice Cream from The Perfect Scoop
to make, it was with the tantalizing pistachio flavor in mind. What we got was a very apricto ice cream, studded with pistachios. Disappointing. If I'd wanted apricot ice cream, I would have made that. Well, in actual fact, I did make it. It just wasn't what I'd wanted.

I searched for another recipe for straight pistachio ice cream in many cookbooks, and finally I found one in a cookbook from the library. I modified it a bit to incorporate David Lebovitz's technique of steeping to extract the most flavor possible.

It has a very subtle flavor, but I enjoyed it a lot. After I'd made it, David posted a recipe for pistachio gelato using imported pistachio paste. It has much more of a green tint and, I'm sure, a much fuller taste. But if you can't get a hold of pistachio paste, try this recipe. I think you'll like the results. It's especially delicious drizzled with honey.

Pistachio Ice Cream
adapted from Ice Cream! by Pippa Cuthbert and Lindsay Cameron Wilson

DSC_13743-1/2 oz (100 g) shelled unsalted pistachios
1-3/4 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
Scant 1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup (70 g) shelled unsalted pistachios, chopped

Process the pistachios in a food processor to a fine powder, being careful not to overprocess.

Warm the milk and sugar in a medium saucepan to a near-boiling point. Remove from the heat, stir in the ground nuts, cover, and set aside to steep for one hour.

Place the cream in a large bowl and set a strainer over it.

Place a sieve over another bowl and strain the milk through the sieve, pressing with a spatula to remove the maximum flavor from the nuts. Return the milk to the saucepan and warm over low heat.

Beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Place the bowl on a rubber glove so it won't skip across the counter and slowly pour the warmed milk mixture into the eggs, stirring constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.

Cook over low heat till the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer into the cream in the large bowl to remove any cooked egg bits.

Allow it to cool over an ice bath. Refrigerate for 2 hours then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. When the ice cream is finished, stir in the chopped pistachios.



MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Ho Lynn I love to try this with honey! Is there a pistachio honey?
I think this is heavenly!
That boy needs a replacement bag!

VeggieGirl said...

hahahaha, I LOVE the story about your oldest son, and his "s" and "f" words ;0)

oooh the Apricot Pistachio Ice Cream you've dedicated to him is quite stunning!

Peabody said...

My brother was like your son, a bottomless pit. However, age 35 hit and his metabolism slowed way down and now he is not so slender. :)
I would love a scoop of the pistachio ice cream!

Anh said...

I have had both good and bad pistachio ice cream... Really need to make myself to see how it goes. Thanks for a great recipe!

Melinda said...

Most of the pistachio ice creams here are always a lime green colour. That doesn't seem very natural. Homemade would be worth it just to miss the food colouring. I love pistachios too!
Love the story about the grandparents scoffing his present. Fancy him not saying anything? He is a well-mannered bottomless pit.
My daughter would have cried.

Patricia Scarpin said...

I had a laugh with your post!
My brother was exactly like your son - he would drive my grandmother crazy with so much food! :)

The ice cream looks fabulous!

Big Boys Oven said...

That scoop of ice cream makes such a good temptation and so irresistable. Pistachio omg! how lovely!

Jerry said...

This is the first gelato flavor I ever had. It was so good. Often times now I find it to salt or to sweet. Hopefully this has a good balance. Hope your well.

eatme_delicious said...

Cute story about your son. :) Pistachios are such a wonderful nut. There was a time when I didn't like any nuts, but I of course liked pistachios!

Anali said...

Such a cute story! That reminds me of my brother. Every year for Christmas he wants as many containers of pecans and peanuts as possible!

Emily said...

Oh, poor Sean!!!!! I love pistachios!!

Kelly-Jane said...

I have so wanted to try David's recipe since I got the book, I'm so sorry to hear it wasn't what you expected. Your final ice cream looks great though =)

Sean said...

I still have horrid memories of that day. Thank you for the dedication. It sounds yummy. Hmm, pistachios... Mmmm....

gigi said...

What a great story, it reminded me of my brother! After I read your post I called him (in Texas). A great post and recipe like always!

Amy said...

Aww "only whimpering slightly" awww!

This ice cream is lovely. :)

Anne said...

My boys are very much like your son. In fact I've always wondered where all of the food that they eat goes :)

I love pistachios...and your ice cream looks sooo good!