Author Notes: I was shopping in my food pantry recently, trying to feel rich. I hit a goldmine with a jar of roasted, unsalted, shelled pistachios and was happy. There was just enough sugar left to make some dessert, and I had both whipping cream and milk in the fridge and lots of eggs. Time for some ice cream! This ice cream tastes and acts a lot like kulfi, the slow-boiled caramelized frozen Indian dessert. It's churned in an ice cream maker though, and has slivers of dark chocolate throughout. I called it Chocolate Shiver because it tastes a little minty, even though it has no mint. As for the cardamom flavour, if you love cardamom use more, if you like it use a little less and don't crush open the pods before infusing the milk and cream.
The pistachio is used in three ways in this recipe: it's soaked in the milk, ground up and stirred into the custard, and the softened nuts used to infuse the milk are added to the ice cream later to make it a little bumpy and crunchy with the chocolate. I used single estate Venezuelan chocolate with 72% cocoa solids.
This ice cream was a family effort because the broken lid to the ice cream maker clattered and clanged as it bumped along, needing more than just a piece of double-sided tape to stick back together. It needed packing tape, and worked!
Makes: about 600 millilitres
large free range egg yolks
cup soft brown sugar
cup unbleached white sugar
milliliters whipping cream, 35% fat
milliliters 2% milk, organic
shelled, roasted, unsalted whole pistachios
green cardamom pods, bruised or crushed open
cup shelled, roasted, unsalted whole pistachios
cup 72% good quality dark chocolate, chopped into fine shards, with some larger pieces too
- Separate 5 large eggs, saving the whites for another use. Whisk up the 5 yolks in a bowl with 1/2 cup of brown sugar and half a cup of unbleached white sugar. Set aside.
- Steep 15 whole roasted, peeled pistachios and some green cardamom pods (use four, or five if you love cardamom) in a mixture of whipping cream (35% fat) and 2% milk. Scald it slowly and take it off the heat. Cool the milk mixture while you get the on with grinding the cup of whole pistachios.
- Blitz the pistachios for about 40 seconds in a food processor. Some pieces will be larger and some will be dust but don't make a paste. I used the pulse setting. Set aside.
- Strain the steeped, roasted (and now softened) whole pistachios and cardamom pods out of your scalded milk and cream, discarding the cardamom pods.
- Add the beaten sugar and egg yolks to the slightly cooled milk, set on a low heat, and stir and stir and stir. At first use a whisk and switch to a heatproof silicone spatula or wooden spoon, stirring until the custard is thick and coats the back of a spoon.
- Transfer to a clean glass bowl, no need to strain the mixture as there will be multiple textures in the end. Cool the bowl in an ice water bath or sink full of cold water quickly, then put in the fridge for at least four hours. The cooler the mixture is when you want to make your ice cream, the more quicker it will turn into ice cream from the machine.
- After at least four hours (or overnight in the fridge) churn the mixture in your ice cream maker. Slowly pour in one cup of pulverized, roasted pistachios you've processed earlier. Put the 15-20 whole ones in too, that you've removed from being steeped. Finally put in the chopped, very good quality dark chocolate. Add more dark chocolate as needed to get the right taste, I used a cup. Churn this mixture for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Transfer the ice cream to small freezer-proof containers with tight-fitting lids. Freeze for at least an hour before eating. I know, I know, it's hard. Eager helpers can eat a melting bowl after 20 minutes in the freezer. To freeze it properly, I'd wait at least 5 hours.