Pistachio is definitely NOT my flavor choice for ice cream. Many, many years ago my husband told me that his FAVORITE ice cream flavor WAS pistachio. It’s hard enough finding sugar-free ice cream, but trying to find interesting sugar-free flavors is darn near impossible. The most exotic flavor I have found is butter pecan. Otherwise it’s vanilla. Or occasionally vanilla/chocolate/strawberry. Several years ago I attempted to make pistachio ice cream using a short-cut recipe I found online. What I created was a solid block of pistachio ice. I shelved the project until I might have an ice cream maker.
Ever since I discovered Tagatesse, I have been trying new recipes and taking old favorites and seeing how they would work with Tagatesse instead of sugar. [ Reminder: Tagatesse uses tagatose, and can be substituted 1-for-1 for sugar. At the moment the major problem is that it is costing me around $40 for a 1 lb. box. Ah, the things we do for love. ] I don’t remember what article I saw that made me think maybe it was time to try again to make pistachio sugar free ice cream.
I found MANY sites that discussed making ice cream without an ice cream maker, and using only 3 or 4 ingredients. That’s my kind of recipe!! I ended up checking several sites, and all called for at least these 3 ingredients: heavy whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla. Easy, peasy, except for the amount of sugar in sweetened condensed milk. That sent me on a search to see if I could make my own sweetened condensed milk using Tagatesse. Of course, since we know EVERYTHING is on the internet, I found one. It was simple, I had the ingredients, and the only downside was the need to stir it for 30 minutes as it cooked. I made the condensed milk using the Tagatesse and let it cool.
The next day I attempted the ice cream. I’d ordered pistachio flavored extract online. I tried to pick the one that looked the ‘best’ and substituted it for most of the vanilla. I also bought pistachio nuts and ground up several of them to add to the ice cream and to sprinkle on top. I mixed everything together and then waited the requisite hours.
I served a portion to my husband. The verdict: A+ for taste, A+ for color & texture, C for sweetness. He thought it was way too sweet. Sigh. I gave the rest to my brother-in-law, who has more of a sweet tooth than my husband. His verdict: A+ for texture & color, A+ for sweetness, C for flavor. He said it tasted like almonds. I swore to him that there were no almonds. He went and did research and discovered that the vast majority of pistachio flavorings were almond based. According to the ingredients on the extract I used, it claims to have only pistachios, no almonds. What is a simple pistachio ice cream maker to do? Make less-sweet pistachio ice cream for my husband and make coffee ice cream for my brother-in-law. Problem solved. 🙂