Pistachio Gelato

Pistachio gelato is the benchmark by which many gelaterie are judged. You can tell at a glance if an artificial base has been used, just by the color. If the gelato maker is using real pistachio nuts, the color will be almost drab green. If the bin flashes a neon green, keep walking!–Pamela Sheldon Johns

LC Proper Pistachio Gelato Note

Did you read what Pamela Sheldon Johns just said about pistachio gelato and its color? Yeah. What she said.

Special Equipment: Ice cream maker

Pistachio Gelato Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 1 H
  • Makes 1 quart


  • 1 cup (6 ounces) shelled pistachios (about 12 ounces in the shell)
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar


  • 1. In a food processor or coffee grinder, grind the pistachios to a fine powder, reserving a few whole nuts for garnish.
  • 2. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved and bubbles form around the edges. Remove from heat, add the ground pistachios and let cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • 3. Strain the milk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing on the pistachios with the back of a large spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Transfer the liquid to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Linda Pacchiano

Apr 27, 2000

This is a very simple gelato recipe with just 3 ingredients. It involves none of the fuss of making a crème anglaise as the base for the gelato, yet the result is a luxuriously textured gelato with a clear, pure pistachio flavor. I debated whether or not I should remove the skins after I shelled the pistachios, but since the ground nuts were going to be strained, I decided it wasn't worth the effort. (If the nuts were going to become part of the finished product, I probably would have blanched them and rubbed off the skins before grinding them in the food processor.) After infusing the milk with the nuts overnight, I had a wonderfully flavored liquid, but it was a bit too sweet for my taste. The next time I make this, I'll cut the sugar back to 1/2 cup. I also thought that I could have added about half the chopped nuts back just before churning to get more of the pistachio texture into the gelato. This, however, is a matter of personal preference. If you like your gelato perfectly smooth and creamy, I would strain the entire nut mixture out of the liquid as stated in the recipe. If you've not had true pistachio gelato in the past, you'll be surprised, as the author points out, with the color of the gelato. It's more of a greenish tan, but the flavor is superb and without interference from any other ingredients.

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