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Pistachio Cardamom Gelato

August 5, 2009
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Pistachio Cardamom Gelato This is the second flavor I have tried after discovering a gelato recipe made out of whole milk and corn starch. I thought of pistachios because it is my husband’s favorite and it was around his birthday. I decided to be a really nice wife and make him happy. When I started to think about the recipe, I felt it needed to be a little different than your typical pistachio gelato. Since whole milk was the main ingredient – I felt another ingredient needed to be added to off-set the lack of fat in this gelato. I thought of cardamom- I love the flavor, very flowery and delicate but exremely dominant. It makes me think of the Indian version of ice cream,  kulfi. Kulfi is made out of whole milk that is cooked on a low heat for hours- it is essetially evaporated till the consistency is thick and custard like. It is then frozen in different molds. Typically it is flavored with cardamom, mango or saffron. I remember growing up eating mango kulfi that my Mom would make. It would be quite a production since it takes a while to cook and then freeze. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the frozen metal mold full of yummy frozen milk. When I was putting this particular frozen dessert together, the smell took me back. Adding the cardamom to the milk and pistachios made this concoction amazingly delicious.

After chilling the mixture over night and then adding it to the ice cream maker- we were all very curious to try the first bite- and , it was delicious- the creaminess of the pistachios came through and the cardamom was definitely the star. It definitely didn’t taste like it was made out of whole milk- extremely creamy- we didn’t miss the cream and the eggs at all.

Most importantly, my husband really enjoyed it. I took it to a get together and it was a big hit! I think the next one I make will be with hazelnuts- can’t wait!

  • 1 cup roasted pistachios
  • 10 whole cardamom pods

Grind the pistachios and cardamom pods into a powder in a spice grinder. Keep aside.

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk to mix with cornstarch
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Heat the milk and sugar in a medium saucepan. Add the cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons milk. Stir constantly on medium high heat till the mixture reaches custard consistency. Turn the heat off and add the salt and the pistachio mixture. Transfer to a glass bowl and refrigerate overnight. Transfer the chilled mixture to an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a freezer container and freeze for at least 2-3 hours before serving.

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