As much as I love all desserts, nothing quite makes me swoon as much as the combination of sweet and salty. It's why chocolate covered salty pretzels and I are old friends and caramel sauce only interests me if it's got a good hit of sea salt. Candied or chocolate covered nuts are good but way more awesome if the nuts are salted.
And so, as fond as I am of pistachios, pistachio ice cream and, basically all things pistachio, store bought pistachio ice cream is usually too sweet and one note for me. I'm missing the balance of the salt.
Fortunately, I can easily remedy this situation by making my own and by using roasted and salted pistachios. You can make this with sugar only and omit the honey, if you like, but honey vanilla is another favorite flavor of mine so I decided to combine the two.
When it comes to homemade ice cream, you can use a cooked custard base, which contains eggs. Or you can go for a straight dairy only option which doesn't require cooking. Because I wanted little bits and pieces of pistachios in my finished ice cream, I went with a no-cook method. If I wanted to strain them out, I would have cooked them with the base mix.
I should also note that the color of pistachios, while definitely green, is nowhere near the deep green shade you find in store bought pistachio or even mint ice cream. You can certainly add some green food color to your ice cream if you really want that bright green shade. But I prefer to keep it all natural so my ice cream is still mostly beige but with green flecks from the bits of pistachios.
This recipe is easy and simple and results in the perfect hit of sweet, salty and creamy. A perfect treat for a hot summer day. Enjoy!
- 1 Cup whole milk
- 2 Cups heavy cream
- 1/2 Cup honey
- 1/4 Cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla (vanilla paste is best, if you have it)
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Cup shelled roasted and salted pistachios
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, heavy cream, honey, sugar, vanilla and salt. Add the pistachios to a food processor and pulse a few times until the nuts are very broken down but not powder or paste. Add to the bowl.
Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's instructions for use. Churn for 40 minutes and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.