Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Diwali Pistachio Ice 'Cream'

This year for Diwali, we had a few friends over for masala dosas and sambhar.  Friends brought a salad and chutney and some tapioca payasam!  We had an amazing gluten-free, vegan meal to accommodate everyone's issues, and no one thought for a second that anything was missing.  My contribution to the desserts, because sweets are the most important part of any Diwali celebration, was a Pistachio Ice 'Cream' adapted from David Lebovitz's recipe.  With real nuts and a can of coconut milk it is so rich!

Enjoy, and Happy Diwali everyone!

Pistachio Ice 'Cream'
adapted from David Lebovitz
Makes 6 servings
Takes 1 hour active time (plus cooling and ice cream churning time)

1 14 oz. can coconut milk (make sure it's good and doesn't have any additives)
5 1/2 tsp. corn starch
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup raw pistachios (shelled)
1/2 cup raw cashews
4 cardamom pods, shelled and crushed to a powder

Mix 1/4 cup of coconut milk with the corn starch to make a slurry, taking care to whisk out the lumps.

Heat rest of coconut milk and 1/4 cup of sugar on medium high heat.  Just as it begins bubbling, turn down the heat to simmer, add the slurry, and mix constantly for 3 minutes.  It will thicken right away.  Turn off the heat, let cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a thick skin from forming.  When it's cool enough, put it in the refrigerator.

Bring the raw pistachios, cashews and 1/2 cup of water to a boil.  Remove from heat, and when cool enough, begin removing the skins from the pistachios.  This is tiresome.  You should be able to squeeze the pistachios and the skins should come off neatly, but some times you need to scrub with your finger tips a little for the thin skins.  It's helpful to keep another bowl of water handy to wash your hands. Return the skinned pistachios to the cashews.

When you have skinned all your pistachios, place the pistachios, cashews, powdered cardamom, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in the bowl of a food processor.  Process, adding the reserved nut-boiling water as necessary to make a smooth paste.  Add this paste to the chilling coconut milk and stir until well-combined.  Chill until you are ready to make your ice cream, or overnight.

Make ice cream according to your maker's directions.  Freeze the ice cream after churning for 30 minutes or so for really nice consistency.



  1. Have you tried the roast banana ice cream in Lebovitz? You could easily make it vegan by just substituting for the milk. Anyway, it's super delicious and rich without having any eggs.

    Got this off the Internet, not sure if it's the same as in the book:

    Roasted Banana Ice-cream

    3 medium ripe bananas
    75g brown sugar
    1.5 cups (375ml) full-cream milk
    2 tablespoons caster sugar
    1.5 teaspoons lemon juice
    half teaspoon vanilla extract
    quarter teaspoon salt

    Preheat the oven to 200C.
    In a small baking dish, chop up the bananas and toss in the brown sugar. Bake for around 40 minutes or until the bananas are cooked through, caramelised and golden. Turn them once during cooking.
    In a blender or food processor, blitz the hot bananas, the syrup from the dish, milk, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and salt until smooth. Chill this mixture until cold in the fridge or ice bath.
    Churn in an ice-cream machine until thick or place in a plastic container, pop it in the freezer and give it a good whip every few hours.

  2. OOOH. I don't like bananas! But I will have to try these proportions with something else. Maybe pears?