Pistachio Ice Cream

Monday, July 2nd, 2018
pistachio ice cream recipe

Pistachio ice cream is always a favorite in the Heart of the Desert Alamogordo store. If you can’t make it to Alamogordo, New Mexico to pick some up, this recipe would be a terrific addition to any warm evening this summer.

Servings: 6 Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 20 Minutes Freeze time: 3 hours – 3 days


  • 1 cup unsalted, whole pistachios, roughly chopped. Heart of the Desert Kernels work great for this.
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.

Arrange the pistachios in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake, shaking the pan occasionally, until the nuts are lightly golden and toasted, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

In a food processor, combine 1/2 cup of the pistachios with the sugar and process until finely chopped and well blended. Reserve the remaining 1/2 cup pistachios.

In a saucepan, combine the milk, cream and the pistachio-sugar mixture and stir to blend. Set the pan over medium-low heat and warm the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved, and steam begins to rise from the surface; 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the mixture steep for 10 to 15 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and salt until blended. Form a kitchen towel into a ring and place the bowl on top to prevent it from moving. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the pistachio-cream until smooth and blended, then pour the egg mixture back into the pan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring slowly and continuously with a wooden spoon or spatula, until the custard thickens, and a finger drawn across the back of the spoon leaves a path, 8 to 10 minutes; do not allow the custard to boil.

Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve set over a clean bowl; discard the pistachios. DONT SKIP THIS STEP or you’ll end up with an incredibly coarse base instead of a smooth and creamy one. Nestle the bowl in a larger one filled halfway with ice and water and cool the custard to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour.

Stir the almond extract into the custard, transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. At the end of the freezing stage, add the remaining 1/2 cup pistachios and continue processing just until they are blended into the ice cream. Transfer the ice cream to a chilled container, cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days, before serving.

Heart of the Desert is a working pistachio ranch and vineyard with four retail establishments in New Mexico. They are best known for their farm fresh pistachios and Award-Winning New Mexico wines. Each store offers wine and pistachio tastings. They offer worldwide shipping and produce attractive gourmet baskets that make great corporate and family gifts. The main store, on the ranch in Alamogordo, offers farm tours that showcases how pistachios are grown and processed as well as a stunning Tuscany themed patio that overlooks the groves and is available for weddings, private parties or enjoying a relaxing glass of wine.