Folks, as you read this, I will be finished with my junior year classes. All that stands between me and the magical land of Wisconsin are two finals. Chemical Engineering Reactions and Mass Transfer. They will be doozies. I will be forever grateful to finish this brutal academic year.
Have you ever had pistachio ice cream? It seems like the sort of flavor I would find at my grandparent’s house, in the depths of their double door fridge and avoid at all. But today, I am going to change that. I will single-handedly demolish the old-lady stigma that pistachio ice cream has. Intrigued? Read on!
I hadn’t the first clue of how to make pistachio ice cream, or how to make it different from the usual pistachio flavor every ice cream brand makes. I actually never planned to make a pistachio flavor at all! The unique aspect came to me first. I came across a recipe for lemon pistachio shortbread cookies and thought that would be pretty tasty in an ice cream! So, it cut the line for ice cream ideas to the front, and I invested in some pistachios.
This flavor involved some craftiness and makeshift tools, but it was a normal custard base that I am familiar with to. Pistachios themselves don’t carry a very strong flavor across into ice cream, so almond extract is added to help it along. The recipe I came across said to use unsalted unshelled pistachios. But do I look like I am made of money? No, I have perfectly capable hands to deshell my own pistachios thank you.
Experimental Results and Apparatus
The first thing I had to do was deshell a ton of pistachios. I really didn’t mind though. It brought me back to my family’s Lake George camping trips, where we would eat peanuts and pistachios for hours and throw the shells into the campfire. There isn’t ever too much talking around the campfire; everyone’s entranced by the flames or looking for shooting stars. Missing Lake George this year will be one of the hardest things about moving away. I will miss the brisk mornings, drinking coffee on the dock and cruising around in our boat, where I sit at the bow even if it’s a storm and I am getting thrown around by the waves.
Okay, let’s get back to ice cream shall we? After I deshelled the nuts, I had to grind them into a fine powder to mix into the milk. But I don’t have a food processor and I wasn’t about to buy one just for this purpose. So I smashed them with the bottom of a pan until they were in small chunks and then used a little personal blender to finish off the job. I stirred them into the milk and heated it up. But there was one small problem…it wasn’t that nice pale green color as every other pistachio ice cream I had seen. It was more of a blah green. Oh well, I thought, it will turn into a prettier color once the eggs get mixed in and the custard forms.
Even after that, it still wasn’t the nice color I hoped it would be. But, it was too late to do anything about it, so I let it chill. In the meantime, I made the cookie dough.
It called for room temperature butter, and I tried to be as patient as I could with letting it come completely to room temperature. But in the end, I held it in my hands until it warmed up enough. I had planned on baking these cookies and putting chunks of them into the freshly churned ice cream. But when I finished whipping up the dough and I tried a bit, it was delicious just as it was. So I wrapped it up in a log shape and froze it. There wasn’t any eggs in it, so there was no harm in putting it into the ice cream raw.
After a quick churn, it looked delicious. I chopped up a few dough slices and stuck them in. I grabbed a quick spoonful of it before I put it in the freezer, and I liked what I tasted!
The taste of this ice cream is basically what you imagine it. Eating a frozen, creamy pistachio around the campfire. But the dough really gives it an extra edge. It isn’t overly sweet as some other doughs can be. It has an almost tingle-y taste to it. It’s hard to explain. Have you ever had some scone dough? It is just like that! If you haven’t had any scone dough, just stop by my house, my mom makes them like once a week. Just run away before they are finished baking, because you will end up eating about 10 of them.
The ice cream is perfect for when you want to have a cool and refreshing treat, but you don’t want to go into sweetness overload. It’s got a saltiness that just can’t be replicated artificially. That is one thing I can say about my ice creams for sure: they never taste artificial. Sure some of my flavors might be way out there, but they are real. Totally homemade and no intentional artificial flavors. Except when a flavor calls for an artificial flavor. How can there be a natural Peep?
If you are a pistachio fan, this might taste a little different from what you are accustomed to. But if you are new to the party, dive right into this pint and enjoy! I am a pistachio newbie and I really enjoy my nightly scoops of it. I am saying wow to Pistachi-wow!
I believe this will be my last flavor made in my apartment for this school year. But do not fret friends, my ice cream maker is packed in my car for the pilgrimage to Wisconsin! Flavors will be going on a small hiatus, but will be back soon. I have to adjust to my new summer home and then I will be back and better than ever! I’ve got a nice long list of flavors I want to make this summer!
I have only just realized what a terrible and grave mistake I have been making. I haven’t shared a fun fact with you in ages! My deepest apologies friends! I will share one with you today and will try to never forget again.
Not many people know that one of my closest friends here is actually a World Champion Irish Dancer. She is the real life Hannah Montana; chemical engineering student by day, and Irish dance extraordinaire by weekend. I am truly in awe of her talents and her humbleness. I regret the day I told her I did Irish dance too, because I basically look like a waddling infant next to her abilities. So, I will leave the public dancing up to her, and blast my Irish music behind closed doors to tap my heart out.
I am feeling both sad and happy this academic year has come to a close. God has put me through many trials this year; socially and academically. But He has also blessed me with new beautiful friendships, and the wonderful opportunity to make more. Next time you hear from me, I will most likely be a fish out of water (aka a Pennsylvania girl living in Wisconsin). How many people do you think will tell me I have an accent? Post your guesses below in the comments. I love you and thank you for your support. Scoop ya later!