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Pistachio nut ice cream with poached summer fruits

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Pistachio nut ice cream with poached summer fruits

If you're looking for a cold Christmas pudding, then ice cream made with cream and flavoured with pistachio nuts, brandy and dried fruits has got to be ideal. The ice cream can be made 2-3 weeks in advance. Serve with a selection of summer fruits of your choice.


  • 1 vanilla pod or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
  • 2 cups whole or full cream milk
  • 300 ml tub mascarpone cream
  • 6 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup shelled pistachio nuts
  • ½ cup Brandy
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 cup glace fruit of your choice, cherries, pineapple, etc
  • Poached summer fruits
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • lemon peel
  • 500 grams fruit


  1. Split the vanilla pod open lengthwise and scrape out the seeds into a heatproof glass jug or bowl. Heat the pod, milk and mascarpone in the microwave until the mixture reaches boiling point. (Or heat in a saucepan on a stove and stir regularly).
  2. Remove the vanilla pod, if using. If you are using vanilla essence, add to the milk and mascarpone before heating.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar together until the mixture is light. Carefully beat in about 1 cup of the hot milk, then pour into the milk mixture and stir well.
  4. Stand the bowl over a saucepan of boiling water and stir over the heat for about 5 minutes until the custard has thickened. You can cook the custard in a double saucepan if you have one, or use the microwave. I cook custard on 70% power for about 5 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. You may find that you need longer - it will depend on the wattage of your oven.
  5. Set the custard aside to cool and then refrigerate overnight.
  6. Process ¾ of the pistachio nuts with the brandy in a food processor until they form a paste. Pulse in the remaining pistachio nuts.
  7. Whip the cream until it forms fluffy soft peaks. In a large bowl fold together the custard, cream, pistachio nuts and glace fruits.
  8. Place into an ice cream maker and proceed accoding to the directions. Alternatively, turn into a large lidded container and freeze for 4 hours. Remove and stir well. Repeat this once more and if you wish, place the ice cream into a mould or 8x ½ cup capacity moulds. Freeze for 24 hours before serving.
  9. Poached summer fruits
  10. If you wish to have poached fruits with the pistachio nut ice cream (or as an alternative to them), here's a guide to cooking them.
  11. Dissolve ½ cup sugar in 1 cup water and add a strip of lemon peel. Bring to the boil in a saucepan and simmer for 1 minute.
  12. Add 500 grams of well-washed fruit and simmer gently in the syrup until a skewer can be inserted into the fruit (with a little pressure). Remove from the heat and allow the fruit to complete its cooking in the syrup - this way it will not go to mush. Different fruits will cook at different times and ripeness will also play a part in length of cooking time required.

Cooks Tips

- Many roasted pistachio nuts have been salted, so look out for this when you're buying them. As their green colour is usually not strong, I add a drop or two of green food colouring to the custard at the end of step 4.

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