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Pistachio Gelato


Fresh, toasted pistachios lend a vibrant nuttiness and a pastel green hue to this homemade gelato. This recipe can also be adapted to make peanut-stracciatelle or hazelnut versions.

  • Yield: Makes about 1 quart

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June/July 1994


  • 2 cups (1/2 pound) shelled pistachios
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add pistachios and cook 30 seconds. Drain pistachios. When cool enough to handle, remove outer skins; discard. Spread nuts on a baking sheet and toast in oven 5 minutes. Let cool completely, then grind coarsely.

  2. Combine milk and ground pistachios in a medium saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, cover, and remove pan from heat. Let steep 2 hours. Pass through a cheesecloth-lined sieve, pressing hard on solids. Reserve strained milk, and discard solids.

  3. Combine egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Cream at medium-high speed until very thick and pale yellow, 3 to 5 minutes. Return milk to a simmer.

  4. Add half of the warm milk to egg-yolk mixture, and whisk until blended. Return new mixture to saucepan with remaining milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

  5. Remove from heat and immediately stir in cream. Pass mixture through a strainer into a medium bowl. Set over an ice bath to chill. Freeze in a ice-cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Store in a plastic container.


Hazelnut Variation: Substitute hazelnuts for the pistachios. Toast for 8 to 10 minutes and peel. Stir in 1 tablespoon hazelnut liquor before freezing in ice-cream maker.

Peanut-Stracciatelle Variation: Substitute unsalted peanuts for the pistachios. Before serving, melt 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly. Drizzle over gelato; scoop into bowls. The cold chocolate will "tear", making thin shards.

Cook's Notes

For the best flavor, soften it slightly in the refrigerator before serving.

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