Pis­ta­chio Ge­lato

MAKES ABOUT 1 QUART; Photo pg. 24

SAVEUR - - Contents -

Ac­tive: 15 min. • To­tal: 5 hr. 45 min., plus overnight chill­ing

Com­pared to Amer­i­can and French ice creams, Ital­ian-style ge­lato is made with less cream. Sur­pris­ingly, this trans­lates to a denser, richer tex­ture, since cream traps more air bub­bles than milk when churned. (See “Brain­freeze” at right for more.) Ge­lato also melts faster on the tongue, and the neu­tral base in­ten­si­fies added fla­vors—in this case, pis­ta­chio. For a deliri­ously good pis­ta­chio ge­lato, you need deliri­ously good—and ac­cord­ingly ex­pen­sive—pis­ta­chio paste. Ag­ri­mon­tana’s Si­cil­ian paste ($28 for 8 oz.; lep­icerie. com) is a dark, fra­grant, and al­most juicy ex­pres­sion of the queen of nuts, made with noth­ing more than pis­ta­chios and added pis­ta­chio oil for a silky tex­ture. If you can’t swing the Si­cil­ian stuff, look for a paste with only pis­ta­chios, oil, and salt, and avoid prod­ucts la­beled “pis­ta­chio cream,” an indicator that the pis­ta­chio con­tent has been cut with sug­ars and sta­bi­liz­ers. 1 In a heavy-bot­tomed saucepan, whisk the egg yolks and sugar un­til well com­bined. Whisk in the milk, cream, and salt un­til com­bined.

2 Set the saucepan over medium heat and cook, whisk­ing fre­quently, un­til a ther­mome­ter in­serted into the mix­ture reads 170°. Re­move from the heat and whisk in the pis­ta­chio paste un­til well com­bined.

3 Set a fine strainer over an air­tight con­tainer and pour the mix­ture through. Cover and re­frig­er­ate overnight or up to 3 days (this helps cooked cus­tard bases achieve a sta­ble con­sis­tency).

4 In the bowl of an ice cream maker, churn the mix­ture ac­cord­ing to the man­u­fac­turer’s di­rec­tions un­til it’s firm and bil­lowy, and a spoon dragged across the top leaves a last­ing im­pres­sion, about 30 min­utes. Trans­fer to an air­tight con­tainer and freeze un­til hard­ened, at least 4–5 hours. Later on, if it’s too firm, thaw it in the re­frig­er­a­tor for 10–15 min­utes be­fore scoop­ing and serv­ing. For best re­sults, eat within 2 days of freez­ing.

Meet the se­cret to mak­ing the best pis­ta­chio ge­lato you’ve ever tasted: lux­u­ri­ous 100 per­cent pis­ta­chio paste.

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