Friday, July 4, 2008

Pistachio Ice Cream Sammies

Happy Independence Day!! I don't know about you, but our 4th has been quiet and uneventful. Dave and I slept in, watched some tennis, and went for a walk. Weather permitting, we'll go check out the local fireworks after dinner - and if not, we're off to the movies!

Now, I had been hoping to share our dinner with you today, but on their current schedule, my 7-hour maple baked beans won't be ready until next Tuesday... so I thought I would share this lovely dessert with you instead!

I've said it before, I don't know how I managed so long before pistachios. I have seriously taken every opportunity to work them into some kind of dessert, ANY kind of dessert, that I jumped at the chance when I saw this recipe in Food & Wine magazine. (And I have couple more trapped in Forgotten Draft Land.)

I know what you're thinking, how could I abandon David Lebovitz? I am normally so loyal to his book, Perfect Scoop - how could I branch out? Well, I can say that I gave him a chance. After seeing this recipe, I went to the Perfect Scoop and looked up pistachios... but the only ice cream they are featured in also included a bunch of other stuff (apricots and the like), and while I found it appealing, too, I really wanted a simple, unadulterated pistachio ice cream. I hope he'll forgive me. I blame the cream cheese.

Jeni Britton does not disappoint. Her pistachio ice cream is exactly what I was looking for. Shining pistachio flavor with a hint of the almond extract, creamy with a wonderful mouth-feel - and not the least bit gritty. I was feeling cheeky, so I baked up some of these butter cookies and made wee ice cream sandwiches. Because we'd nibbled away at a couple of cookies and slurped down so much ice cream, I was only able to put together four sandwiches - which is really sad, because they rocked. For serious.

I want to give a quick shout-out to KitchenAid. While making this, my ice cream attachment sprang a leak. The ice cream was ok - thank goodness - but the bowl was toast. I called KA on a Monday and by Thursday, I had a new bowl in hand. No questions asked and they replaced it. I couldn't be more impressed by their customer service.

I hate to put it all the way at the end like this, but I'm submitting this ice cream to the lovely Nikki's Ice Cream, You Scream Ice Cream Event. Did you know that July is Ice Cream Month? How kick-ass is that? And Nikki thought it fitting that we celebrate it - from the humble flavor to the most extravagant - all are welcome in her event. Please pop over and check out her site - it is wildly informative and a pleasure to read - and make sure you check back later in the month for her ice cream round-up!

Pistachio Ice Cream
c/o Food & Wine Magazine, June 2008

2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened (3 tablespoons)
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup toasted pistachios, very finely ground
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch. In another large bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth.

In a large saucepan, combine the remaining milk with the heavy cream, sugar and corn syrup. Bring the milk mixture to a boil and cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Off the heat, gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in the pistachios, almond extract and salt. Set the bowl in the ice water bath and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes.

Strain the ice cream base into an ice cream maker, pressing the pistachios with the back of a spoon to extract all the flavor, and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Pack the ice cream into a plastic container.

Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream and close with an airtight lid. Freeze the pistachio ice cream until firm, about 4 hours.


Grace said...

i resisted pistachio ice cream for the longest time because i didn't think it could possibly be good. i was wrong. :)
these sammiches look terrific!

Joy said...

Yum - I love that 'feeling cheeky' leads to ice-cream sandwiches!

Deborah said...

Oooh, yum! I love pistachios, but I hate having to shell them. This ice cream looks like it would be worth it, though!

Kristen said...

I bet the flavor is amazing. What a great ice cream sandwich idea!

Cakelaw said...

These look fantastic Katie! Yum.