This homemade pistachio and cardamom ice cream is deliciously rich and creamy. If you've ever wanted to make your own ice cream then this ice cream maker recipe is tried and tested! It's everything you want in a pistachio ice cream - beautifully nutty, sweet and slightly spicy. It also scoops easily straight from the freezer.
I love my ice cream maker. It's a great little kitchen gadget and it makes the most delicious homemade ice cream. It's easy to use, easy to store and means I can make WHATEVER flavour of ice cream I want!
Or sorbet. Or frozen yogurt.
Pistachio is a classic ice cream flavour and cardamom goes so well with pistachios. It's a brilliant flavour combination and makes a lightly spiced nutty ice cream that my family and I love. There's a slight floral spiciness from the cardamom. It's not very strong but it does add to the flavour.
I first made this particular custard-based pistachio ice cream 10 years ago! It has stood the test of time and is a recipe I love to make when I've got the time to make the cardamom custard first.
The fact that it involves making a custard first does mean it takes a little more time as you need to make the custard and wait for it to cool before you can start churning it. However, custard based ice creams are definitely more creamy than those that don't start with a custard base.
And trust me, it's worth it. What's more, this ice cream doesn't freeze too hard so you can scoop it straight from the freezer!
What ingredients do you need?
To make this pistachio and cardamom ice cream you'll need:
- Double cream
- Milk - I usuallly use semi-skimmed but skimmed or whole milk will also work.
- Cardamom pod - You only need one cardamom pod as you don't want the cardamom flavour to overpower the nuttiness of the pistachios.
- Egg yolks
- Caster sugar - You can also use granulated sugar.
- Unsalted pistachios
How do you make the ice cream?
First you need to infuse the milk and cream with the cardamom. Just crush the cardamom pod lightly and then put it in a saucepan with the milk and cream and heat gently till almost boiling but not quite. Then take it off the heat and leave to cool for 15 minutes.
It's also a good idea to toast the pistachios slightly in a dry pan. This helps to make them even more deliciously nutty. Once they've cooled, put them in a food processor with a tablespoon of sugar and grind to a powder.
Whisk the sugar and egg yolks together along with a spash of water if they are too dry.
When the milk and cream mixture has had time to infuse, pass it through a sieve to remove the cardamom pod as well as any skin that has formed on top.
Then whisk the milk and cream mixture into the sugar and egg yolk. You can then pour it all back into the saucepan and heat it gently, stirring all the time until it thickens slightly.
Then take it off the heat and stir in the ground pistachios. Leave it to cool completely before pouring into the ice cream maker. I usually let it cool for a while at room temperature and then transfer it to the fridge so it gets really cold.
If you have an ice cream maker with an inner bowl it's important to remember to put it in the freezer the day before you make the ice cream. Then when you're ready to make it you can just assemble it and pour in the pistachio cardamom custard. It will need to churn for about 20-30 minutes and then you can transfer it to a freezer proof container and freeze until you're ready to eat it.
Can you adapt this homemade ice cream?
If you don't want to add the cardamom then just miss it out. You'll still get a delicious nutty pistachio ice cream.
Or use vanilla instead of cardamom. You can add a vanilla pod to the milk and cream in step 2 of the recipe below or just add half a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
What kind of ice cream maker do you need?
Any kind of ice cream maker will work. I use a fairly cheap Andrew James ice cream maker that cost about £30 on Amazon. There are lots of similar ones that work in the same way.
You take the inner bowl out and put it in the freezer 24 hours before making the ice cream.
Why is homemade pistachio ice cream not bright green?
You can see from the picture that the ice cream is a yellow colour rather than green, as pistachio ice cream sometimes is. Well, that's because food colouring is often added to pistachio ice cream to give it that lovely green colour.
I don't mind that it's not bright green. It's good to know that homemade ice cream doesn't have the added nasties that lots of bought ones have!
How long can you keep it for?
This ice cream keeps in the freezer for about 3 months. However, I prefer to eat it sooner rather than later!
More ice cream recipes
As well as the recipes below I have a whole recipe collection devoted to frozen desserts and snacks. There are recipes for ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet and ice lollies!
Cardamom and Pistachio Ice Cream
- Ice cream Maker
- 200 ml double cream
- 200 ml skimmed milk
- 1 cardamom pod Slightly crushed but not falling apart
- 2 egg yolks
- 150 g caster sugar
- 50 g unsalted pistachios
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Put the pistachios in a dry frying pan. Put the heat on medium. Toast them gently, shaking regularly to prevent any burning. Take off the heat and leave to cool.
- Crush the cardamom pod slightly. Combine the milk, cream and cardamom pod in a saucepan. Heat gently. As soon as it is about to boil, take it off the heat and leave for 15 minutes for the cardamom pod to infuse.
- Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until pale. If there doesn't seem to be enough liquid, add a tablespoon of cold water.
- Strain the milk and cream mixture through a sieve to remove the cardamom pod and any skin that has formed as the cream is cooling.
- Slowly pour the cream mixture into the egg yolk and sugar, whisking all the time.
- Return the egg, sugar and cream mixture to the saucepan and heat gently, stirring. It should gradually thicken. Stop when it forms a custard that coats the back of a spoon.
- Put the pistachios and the extra tablespoon of sugar in a spice grinder or food processor and blend until ground. Stir this mixture into the custard.
- Leave to cool. When it is no longer hot, put it in the fridge to chill. and then put the mixture in an ice cream maker.
- Set up the ice cream maker according to the machine's instructions. Switch it on and pour in the cream mixture as it is churning. It will take about 20-30 minutes.
- After churning in the ice cream maker it can be transferred to another container and kept in the freezer until you want to eat it.
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