Wow I know, what a mouthful– pistachio cardamom matcha ice cream! Each ingredient alone is a star on its own and an all time favorite of mine. But when you put them together, they all sort of play off of each other as they blend together. And as you try to distinguish each complex flavor, you can’t seem to decide where one flavor starts and the other one ends. I’m usually such a minimalist when it comes to flavors– I like what I would describe to be bold simplicity. Usually just one or two high quality ingredients being the focal point. But I simply couldn’t hold back on this ice cream! You can certainly choose to use only one of these ingredients and it would stand alone just fine, but putting them all together was no mistake!
I think it was last winter when dragged a couple unwilling friends out of their heated houses to explore a bit of Philly with me. They knew what they signed up for– I’d try to hit as many food spots as possible! My fingers were screaming at me that they were about to fall off from the freezing temps but I still proudly carried my ice cream cone out of Weckerly’s for a blistery walk to a coffee shop.
Weckerly’s is one of those awesome little ice cream shops that makes you fall in love with new fresh ingredients and new combinations of those ingredients. I scanned their ever-changing-seasonal-small batch menu and decided to go with whatever sounded the most interesting! It was called The Wedding Present. They described it as being inspired by Kulfi (Indian ice cream). Flavored with saffron, cardamom, and pistachios. I honestly hadn’t heard of 2 out of 3 of those things. But I took one lick and ice cream took on a whole new meaning for me. I became so interested in cardamom and it opened up my mind to spices in general!
I live in a very suburban area where the most popular coffee shops are Starbucks and Dunkin’ and I can’t find a decent yeasted donut for tens of miles! The closest Whole Foods is about 100 miles away (I actually don’t know for sure because it’s that far away). So if I was in the mood for some life changing mouth orgasm type of food or dessert, let’s just say I’d have to plan ahead and wait for an open weekend to make the trip.
That’s actually one of the biggest reasons I’ve decided to dive so deeply into baking! My dad has a very distinct distaste for going out to eat. He usually thinks it’s a waste of time and money (and probably calories). It’s not because he’s cheap or anything, he just thinks whatever he and my mom can whip up in the kitchen is gonna be better and fresher. He’s probably right. But while I have a deep love for going out for food, it’s much more convenient (and fun) for me to try to create my own life changing goodies!
This ice cream is made with a rich custard base so it’s extra creamy and full of rich flavor! Add in all the star ingredients and FORGET ABOUT IT– even if there’s a sale on Haagen Dazs, you’ll turn your chin up and look the other way!
This recipe does require an ice cream maker. But if you like homemade stuff, I implore you to invest in one RIGHT NOW. I got the this one for Christmas and it’s under $50! It works incrediblyyyy well and I can’t stop making my own ice cream now!
*start of recipe -ish*
The pistachio flavor comes only from fresh homemade pistachio paste. This might sound complicated but all it is is shelled pistachios, blended in a food processor, high speed blender, or coffee grinder with a bit of water! And then you can add it to anything!!
I use fresh cardamom pods but if you don’t have them on hand, grab some ground cardamom. It won’t be as flavorful or aromatic but you’ll still achieve the flavor.
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
4-6 large egg yolks (to your liking)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
seeds from 5-8 cardamom pods, crushed
pistachio paste from about 3/4 cup shelled pistachios
1 1/2 tablespoon matcha powder
Put pistachios in food processor or blender. Blend until fine. Add a bit of water and blend until paste consistency. Set aside.
Remove cardamom seeds from pods and crush seeds or pulse them in a coffee grinder. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat heavy cream, milk, sugar, and cardamom seeds over medium-low heat, mixing to dissolve sugar. While that’s heating up, separate yolks into a medium bowl and whisk for a minute. When cream mixture comes to a simmer (don’t let it boil), remove from heat and slowly stream a third of the mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the yolk mixture back into saucepan. On low heat, stir the mixture until it’s 170 degrees F, or can coat the back of a spoon.
Remove from heat and pour through a sieve into a heat safe bowl. Whisk in pistachio and matcha powder until completely incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap directly touching the mixture to prevent skin forming. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Stir mixture well before pouring into ice cream machine. Churn according to ice cream machine instructions. When done, enjoy soft serve or pour into freezer safe container, sprinkle crushed pistachios on top, and store in freezer for a few hours before serving!