Gelupo’s pistachio ice cream recipe

Think of gelato and you’ll probably think of pistachio. It is the flavour that has become the poster figure of Italian ices, as it is so very delicious, so very ubiquitous and so very unique.

pistachio ice cream
Steven Joyce


130g granulated or caster sugar
40g skimmed milk powder
Stabiliser: 1 level tsp locust bean gum powder or 2 tbsp starch (arrowroot or cornflour)
640ml whole milk
40g glucose syrup (liquid glucose) or light runny honey
125g pure pistachio paste (see tip)
15g caster sugar
1 small pinch of salt

  1. To make the base, in a small bowl, stir the sugar, milk powder and stabiliser powder thoroughly.
  2. Put the milk and glucose or runny honey in a saucepan. Heat gently until barely simmering. Pour the contents of the bowl into the warm milk mixture in a steady stream, stirring as you go. Continue to stir until the mixture just returns to the boil, then remove from the heat.
  3. Cover the pan and leave to cool to room or fridge temperature. (The base will keep for up to five days in the fridge if allowed to cool, then refrigerated immediately.)
  4. Blend the pistachio paste, sugar and salt with the base. Churn it in your ice-cream machine until fully firm. Before serving, put the pistachio gelato in the freezer for half an hour or so to firm up. If it has been stored in the freezer longer and is too firm, allow it to soften in the fridge until scoopable.

TIP Finely ground, pure pistachio pastes are easily sourced online. The best pistachio gelato is made with pure Bronte pistachios, which have a particularly fine flavour and are an intense green. They grow only on one side of Mount Etna, Sicily’s famous volcano, and are excruciatingly expensive – though definitely worth it.

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Gelupo GelatoOur recipes are from Gelupo Gelato by Jacob Kenedy, published by Bloomsbury, price £14.99. To order a copy for £13.19 go to or call 020 3308 9193. Offer valid until 30 May. Free p&p on orders over £20.