Apparently, July was National Ice-Cream month. Not sure who declared it as such, but I'm not arguing.
Whenever ice-cream is mentioned, I now always think of one of my best friends, MC. Over a year ago, she got ice-cream maker accessories for her Kitchen-Aid mixer, and she started to play around with recipes. She even made me homemade ice-cream for my birthday (who does that?!)- that flavor being a homage to Shake Shack's Cronut-custard blend, but used the (now defunct) bakery Crumb's "Crumb-nut" instead. Wowzers.
We've baked together in the past but had yet to do ice-cream together. When we decided to do something for this site last month, we decided it was finally time to tackle it. She has the recipe book for Jeni's Ice-Cream and we chose the Roasted Pistachio flavor. Awesome decision. Needless to say, this is NOT a health-centric recipe. The smell of this ice cream is enough to make you weak in the knees, so beware!
MC had never done an ice-cream base made with cream-cheese, so this was a first for her. Normally she uses egg yolks as the thickener, so we were curious to see what the consistency and taste would be like.
Well. We sort of made a sizeable mistake. But a delicious one I sort of wouldn't terribly mind making again in heaven where calories don't exist. Instead of the 3 tbsp of cream cheese, we got distracted talking and I put in the entire package- which is 5x as much... Oops? Needless to say, it was SO creamy and I suspect it might actually taste evenbetter than the original. My little expert MC says it's not unusual for ice-cream recipes to call for an entire package, so we'll just write that off as a bold move...
A slideshow of snippets from the creation process can be seen below the recipe. Recipe is from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home book.
Roasted Pistachio Ice Cream
*recipe makes 3.5 cups
2 cups Whole Milk
1 tbsp + 1 tsp Cornstarch
3 tbsp softened Cream Cheese (or the apparently the whole package if you want to be like us....)
2/3 cup Sugar
1.5 tbsp Light Corn Syrup
1/2 cup Roasted Pistachios, very finely ground
1/2 tsp Pure Almond Extract
1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
*note: MC and I did not do the ice bath- her expert tip is to leave the base in the freezer overnight. Easier and more simple, but feel free to do either.
1. Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch. In another large bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth.
2. In a large saucepan, combine the remaining milk with the heavy cream, sugar and corn syrup. Bring the milk mixture to a boil and cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Off the heat, gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
3. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in the pistachios, almond extract and salt. Set the bowl in the ice water bath and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes.
4. Strain the ice cream base into an ice cream maker, pressing the pistachios with the back of a spoon to extract all the flavor, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Pack the ice cream into a plastic container.
5. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream and close with an airtight lid. Freeze the pistachio ice cream until firm, about 4 hours.