July 3, 2012

Pistachio cardamom ice cream

Bowl of pistachio cardamom ice cream.

So I finally got an ice cream maker!! I'm quite excited about this because it's shaping up to be a hot summer already. 

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I've been dreaming up all sorts of flavors I want to try, not only in ice cream, but frozen yogurt, sorbet, gelato.... Mmmmm.... I'm really glad that I can get good, local milk, too - not raw, but still non-homogenized, pastured milk. 

I was flipping through Gourmet Today because there's quite a few ice cream recipes in there and came across this one. I knew it was destined to be my first ice cream because a friend of mine had just given me some green cardamom pods. 

I didn't realize quite how laborious this ice cream would be. I mean, I knew it would take time to cook the base, chill, churn, freeze - but I didn't realize that I'd basically be making my own condensed milk for this recipe, which took quite a while. 

The end flavor was superb, don't get me wrong, but a part of me is still wondering if I could have gotten away with using a can of condensed milk.... 

Anyways, this ice cream was quite heavenly and worth the time. The aroma and flavor from the green cardamom were fantastic. 

I didn't realize the difference there is between black cardamom, pre-ground cardamom, and these wonderful green pods. The pistachios were really second fiddle to the cardamom - it paired so well with the creaminess and sweetness. 

This recipe will make about a quart of ice cream and is extremely delicious. No doubt there will be more ice cream postings in the near future!

Pistachio cardamom ice cream
6 cups whole milk, divided
1 cup heavy cream or half and half
about 12 green cardamom pods
1/2 cup granulated sugar, preferably unbleached
pinch of sea salt 
1/3 cup roasted, shelled pistachios

First and foremost, make sure your ice cream maker is frozen and ready to go (follow the instructions). 

Heat 4 cups of milk in a medium skillet over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring often. Let boil, stirring often, until the milk reduces to one cup. Start stirring constantly until the milk further reduces to about 1/3-1/2 a cup. This will take a while and it will be thick like a batter. Then pour it into a small bowl and set aside.

Crack open the cardamom pods using the side of a large knife. Then heat the remaining 2 cups of milk along with the cream/half and half, cardamom, sugar, and salt until the mixture comes to a simmer. Whisk in the condensed milk. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Then set aside and let steep for about 15 minutes.

Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a metal bowl, pushing out all the liquid. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Then cover and refrigerate for another 3-4 hours. In the meantime, if your pistachios have a lot of skins on them, you can blanch them quickly in boiling water, drain, and rub off the skins. Then chop roughly.

When it's very cold, churn and freeze in your ice cream maker according to directions. Add the pistachios about halfway through and continue until it reaches your desired consistency. Transfer to a freezer container and freeze for at least one hour before eating.

Serving bowl with two scoops of pistachio cardamom ice cream.


  1. I ADORE pistachio ice cream!!!!
    Please tell me I can visit and try this sometime soon! :)
    This recipe could use tinned condensed milk, but yours looks and sounds so much better being made from scratch.

  2. Hi Amy ,

    your icecreame inviting me !!!!

    Looks Delicious:)))

    Keep on dear...

  3. I AM SO JEALOUS!! I want an ice cream maker SO badly! But I know if I did get one I wouldn't be able to use it because my parents are wicked strict about their fridge space and even moreso about their freezer space, ugh.

  4. I'm still searching for somewhere to store an ice cream maker if I finally went ahead and bought one! But this recipe sounds so delicious. There really is nothing better than fresh, homemade ice cream! :)

  5. What a great combination...cardamon and pistachio...yum!
    Thanks for the recipe and hope you are having a great week Amy :)

  6. Congratulations on your new ice cream maker! I see this as the first of many delicious frozen treats to come out of your kitchen this summer :)

  7. That looks fantastic!!! I love pistachios and I also love cardamom! I really don't understand all the differences between the types of cardamom.... need to learn that! My ice cream maker is about as old as my 27 years of marriage! Wedding gift = time for a new ice cream maker for me!

  8. this looks fab, nice flavor and love the garlic scape pesto you have some great recipes, thanks so much for visiting my blog

  9. Your ice cream looks delicious and it's so much fun to make flavors that you can't find in the store, such as pistachio.

    We've had a heat wave and this is absolutely the time to be able to make your own ice cream.

  10. I love my ice cream maker but I always forget to use it. I may have to break it out just for this yummy recipe!

  11. That is such a great combo for ice cream!

  12. I really need start using cardamom in more desserts. It's one of my favorite spices! Love this flavor.

  13. We got an ice cream freezer a few years ago and we love it. I am always looking for tasty new recipes and I think you have a hit with this one!!

  14. YUM! Pistachio is one of my favorite kinds of ice cream, and I bet the cardamom worked magically in there! I used to have an ice cream maker (the kind that looks like its in a wooden barrel) but it always seemed to die. Someday I want a nice tiny counter-top version that does all the work for me!

  15. Wow! Great that you've your own ice-cream maker. I've bought mine just last year & I've only made sorbet so far. Your pistachio & cardamom ice -cream looks heavenly & so inviting! LOVELY ! :)

  16. I'm still dreaming of getting an ice cream maker! I may be the only food blogger without one! Waaahhhh...I got to get with the program...!

  17. Oh this ice cream looks and sounds heavenly! Love the combo of cardamom and pistachios. Wonderful!

  18. I think you just won my heart! LOL I just got an ice cream maker and I'm thinking that this is a MUST!!!! Thanks for posting it.


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