Chocolate ice cream, pistachio ice cream or any ice cream with nuts has always been my favorite. My absolute favorite was the Cassata ice cream. For those who don't know what it is, it's an ice cream cake, with a layer of cake topped with three flavors of ice cream (usually strawberry, vanilla and pistachio) and chopped nuts. Even now whenever I go to India I don't miss to buy this ice cream at least a couple of times.
I was jumping with joy when I found Cassata ice cream here in Canada. I usually read the ingredients list without fail but with the over excitement of finding my favorite ice cream turned me blind so I just picked up the box. Rushed home and tasted the ice cream immediately to only find out that I didn't like it even a bit. This ice cream had the same flavor of the Tiramisu we tasted in a famous Italian eatery. All we could smell and taste was liquor which we were never used to. We couldn't bring to swallow even a small piece of it with all that rum. Later when I Googled, I found out that this Casatta is a famous Italian dessert and some sort of liquor is usually added in the recipe. My ice cream cake pretty much tasted like Cassata. I think I'm going to try it again this summer.
I also stopped buying pistachio ice cream because I was disappointed after trying a variety of brands. It's not the same as the ones which we get in India. Finally I found that the Indian grocery stores carry it (at least here in Canada) in small tubs which tasted exactly like the one I used to have in India.
With so much love for pistachio ice cream I was ecstatic when I saw a simple recipe to make it at home. The recipe was in the book which came with my Cuisinart ice cream maker. Yes, I have one. Yay! Actually I got it in 2009 and didn't use it until last week. For some reason I was under the belief that it was not easy to use the machine. The summer I got the machine we were moving from US to Canada, so I didn't even open the pack it came in. Then there was settling in the new place and within a couple of weeks I went to India. When we were back in September my son started going to school full time and he started having a lot of sinus/cold issues so I kept postponing it again and again but finally the mango ice cream recipe in my mango desserts list gave me the nudge to use the machine.
I tried the mango ice cream recipe with fresh mangoes which was just awesome. I couldn't believe that making ice cream at home with a machine could be so easy. The recipe book has a couple of eggless ice cream recipes including vanilla, chocolate, strawberry to name a few. But with my love for pistachio flavor I just wanted to try that first and couldn't have been more happy with that decision because the eggless pistachio ice cream I made was AWESOME, DELICIOUS and DECADENT! I know that I'm going to make this again and again and get rave reviews from everybody. I think much of the flavor came from the pistachio milk essence I used. I don't know how many of you have heard about this. This essence comes in a small plastic bottle. You just add a couple of drops of it and sugar to the milk for pistachio flavored milk. Similarly you can make almond flavored milk and rose milk too. I got these from India but I'm sure that you should be able to find it in the Indian grocery stores here too. Try your luck!
If you don't have an ice cream machine follow the instructions in the eggless banana ice cream recipe.
Eggless Pistachio Ice Cream Recipe
- 2 cups heavy cream, chilled ( I used 35% mf whipping cream)
- 1 cup whole milk, chilled (I used half and half)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 drop greed food coloring (optional) ( I used pistachio essence instead)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pistachio nuts
- In a medium mixing bowl combine together all the ingredients except the pistachios and pour into the freezer bowl and follow the manufacturer's directions to make the ice cream.
- Mine took about 25 minutes to thicken. Add the pistachios then and let the machine run for another 5 minutes.
- If you desire a firmer consistency, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and store in the freezer for two or more hours.
- I couldn't believe that I made this pistachio ice cream at home. It was AWESOME! But I have to warn that the taste is so addictive that you can't stop with just a little.
- I used little more than 1 cup of sugar. Maybe about 2 tablespoons extra. I usually do this with frozen desserts because once frozen the dessert tends to taste less sweeter.
- I used the pistachio milk essence you can find in Indian grocery stores. This definitely gave a rich pistachio flavor to the ice cream which I have tasted back in India.