Pistachio Gelato

Gelato had been a mystery to me- it seemed extra intense and creamy, so I assumed it must have more cream in it. Fact is, gelato is best made with more whole milk and less cream than regular ice cream. The fat in cream coats the tongue, which ends up muting the flavors (who knew?!). So, using less cream is the secret- that’s why gelato is so flavorful!

Long ago, I substituted almond extract for pistachio extract (pistachio extract does not seem to get rave reviews). The almond extract worked. Then again, I do like almond extract…

The other secret to gelato is to under-mix. Stop the machine before the mixture is fully churned, and you’ll get that classic dense gelato texture. YUM.

Easy Pistachio Gelato


  • 8 oz. pistachios, shelled
  • 3 c. whole milk
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 c. cream
  • 1 tsp. almond extract


Process pistachios until smooth. (The VitaMix dry grinder works great for this). Use: > 8 oz. (2 c.) pistachios

Heat milk and sugar to a light boil; remove from heat. Use: > 3 c. milk > 2/3 c. sugar

Stir egg yolks well. Use: > 5 egg yolks

Slowly add hot milk mixture to the egg yolks, stirring well. Return mixture to pan; heat slightly. (Don’t boil or egg yolks will curdle.)

Remove mixture from heat and stir in: > 1 c. cream > 1 tsp. almond extract

Add some of the mixture to the ground pistachios, mixing until smooth.Add the rest, mixing well. Cool mixture; add to ice cream machine according to instructions.

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