The almond and pistachio trees planted on Sicily by the incoming Arabs changed the landscape as well as the flavour profile of island cuisine. Gelato, meanwhile, was and is no less popular in Sicily than on the mainland, though the local variation has a different taste and texture than that of, say, Piedmont, at the foot of the Alps. Climate and available ingredients are key factors, and Sicily is simply too hot for a heavy, custard-based frozen dessert to offer more than a couple of minutes’ relief before the cream and eggs raise your body temperature. Fruit-based sorbets and granitas are preferred for that reason, and while pistachio goes well with a milky gelato, many artisanal producers avoid fat-rich thickening agents. Instead, they use carob flour, which is readily available in southern Sicily
|Prep time||30 minutes|
|Cook time||5 minutes|
|Given the cook-at-home nature of Spinneys and natural variations in ingredients, nutritional information is approximated. See details|
Cooking InstructionsDownload PDF
Bring a small pot of water to a boil.
Add the shelled pistachio nuts and simmer for two minutes. Drain and rinse the nuts under cold water to cool them completely. Dry the nuts with paper towels and remove any leftover skins.
Place the nuts in a blender then add 130g of sugar. Pulse until the nuts are finely ground, stopping from time to time to scrape down the bowl.
Add 125ml of milk and process until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Heat the remaining milk in a pot and bring to a gentle simmer.
In a large bowl, whisk the cream, 160g of sugar and corn starch together then add the hot milk while whisking. Return the mixture to the pot and cook until thickened – approx. 2 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for a few hours, or preferably overnight – it must be very cold.
Whisk the pistachio paste into the mixture. Strain the mixture then pour into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Stop the machine when the gelato is thick and icy but still easily scoopable.
Place in a freezer-proof container and freeze until firm.
Gelato is best enjoyed a day or two after making.