Miriam Olenick is an avid ice cream producer. On her weekly column, you can find all sorts of recipes for delicious, frozen treats. Find more recipes on her own blog www.scoopdujour.net.

I was in Florence about seven years ago, and what I remember most are the gelato carts that lined every street. After every meal, every museum visit, every stroll around a piazza, it was gelato time. I’m pretty sure I had gelato at least five times during my visit – and I was only there for two days. Impressive, no?

Yet as much as I love gelato, I’d never made it. Maybe I’ve been intimidated by the egg yolk situation, or maybe it’s just that gelato sounds so much fancier and more sophisticated than ice cream. But what’s wrong with fancy, anyway? I can do fancy.

This gelato recipe is not a result of a cosmic lightning bolt of inspiration, or a magical message from the gods of dessert. Instead, it is a result of the fact that we’ve had a bag of pistachios in our kitchen cabinet for longer than anyone can remember. They didn’t taste stale, so it was about time someone did something with them.

Of course, we didn’t have quite enough pistachios for the pistachio gelato recipe I found on the interwebs, so that’s where the almond flavor comes in – to save the day.

The result was the creamiest, softest concoction I’ve made so far. And it was down right fancy.


Here is the recipe I adapted from this original:

Pistachio-Almond Gelato:


  1. 3 cups whole milk
  2. 1 cup shelled pistachios
  3. 1 cup heavy cream
  4. 5 egg yolks
  5. 2/3 cup sugar
  6. 1 teaspoon almond extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil.
  3. Add pistachios and cook 30 seconds.
  4. Drain pistachios.
  5. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard outer skins.
  6. Spread nuts on a baking sheet and toast in oven 5 minutes.
  7. Let cool completely, then coarsely grind.
  8. Combine milk and ground pistachios in a medium saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, cover, and remove pan from heat. Let steep 2 hours.
  9. Pass through a cheesecloth-lined sieve, pressing hard on solids. Reserve strained milk, and discard solids (though I left a few in for the look).
  10. Combine egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Cream at medium-high speed until very thick and pale yellow, 3 to 5 minutes. Return milk to a simmer.
  11. Add half of the warm milk to egg-yolk mixture, and whisk until blended.
  12. Return new mixture to saucepan with remaining milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
  13. Remove saucepan from heat, and immediately stir in cream.
  14. Pass mixture through a sieve set over a medium bowl.
  15. Place mixture in the fridge and chill for about half an hour.


On a whim I decided this gelato would be excellent with some raspberry sauce. I tossed some frozen raspberries with a splash or two of Agave Nectar over medium-high heat in a little pan for about two minutes, and that was that – the perfect accompaniment for this gelato. And not too fancy.


- Miriam ‘13