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A Close to {Sundae Sundays}: Pistachio Cashew Ice Cream

Pistachio Cashew Ice Cream | URBAN BAKES

I realize this intro may appear long.  It generally sums my experience of Sundae Sundays and I want to thank you for following my journey and leaving beautiful and inspiring comments to further continue :)   

It’s a bittersweet moment for me as today is the last Sundae Sunday.  I originally started this summer-long project not knowing exactly what I was getting myself in to.  Do you know how difficult it is to take photos of ice cream?!  You may question: how difficult can this really be?  And you must think all I do is just scoop it out, place it on a dish with a pretty spoon, and shoot.  Oh, there’s so much more to it than that!

Ice creams are delicate and tricky to manipulate.  The reason for this is that it MELTS and when it melts, boy does it get create such a mess – and I mean a mess everywhere!  Then, you have to start over and starting over means you have to re-freeze and wait.  We all know re-frozen ice cream may not look as pretty as when you first scooped it out of the bowl.  It tends to have a flat look, surely not as fluffy or airy as it should.  With that said, I hope you can imagine, it really isn’t “a piece of cake or “as easy as pie.”

Pistachio Cashew Ice Cream | URBAN BAKES

I applaud those behind the photos seen on Google images and Pinterest with their creative abilities to use multiple angles, props and to integrate ice creams in cakes, cookies and the like.  All-in-all, I’m glad I’ve committed myself into this project and couldn’t be more satisfied.  It offered me an outlet to become more creative using simple ingredients and techniques while producing an assortment of flavors right from home.  I only hope you are just as satisfied as I am.

As for now, I’ll be packing away my Cuisinart machine, but don’t worry, it’s only temporary.  I already have a Fall ice cream/sorbet flavor in mind for a lazy day down the road.  In the meantime, I’m crazily studying recipes and practicing with fondant.  Ecstatic to start Fall baking, even I look forward to seeing the end results of what I am able to create which is only part of the reason why I enjoy baking so much.  It’s fun to see the beauty in a masterpiece you’ve created from scratch and then share it with the ones dear to your heart.

Pistachio Cashew Ice Cream | URBAN BAKES

Now back to the ice cream.  From all the sundae posts, this one in particular has to be one of the oddest flavors I’ve made, but in a positive way.  It truly is almost indescribable.  The closest way I can describe this ice cream is when you take the very first bite, it has a distinct almond flavor.  As you continuously dig in, the almond flavor subsides and is masked by the toasted cashews giving the ice cream a mild nutty flavor and crunch in every bite.  A kind of texture I personally enjoy.

A recap of Summer 2013 Sundae Sundays:

  1. Chocolate Oreo Crunch Ice Cream
  2. Blueberry Blast Ice Cream
  3. Tangy Lemon Raspberry Sorbet
  4. Mini Frozen Ice Cream Cheesecakes
  5. Flirty Red Velvet Ice Cream Brownie Sundae
  6. S’mores Ice Cream
  7. Funfetti Carnival Frozen Custard
  8. Caramel Macchiato Ice Cream
  9. Pistachio Cashew Ice Cream

Pistachio Cashew Ice Cream

Prep (cook) time: 20 min | Total (machine) time: 15-20 min | Yield: 1 quart


  • 1/2 C unsalted shelled pistachios, finely chopped
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1 C whole milk
  • 1 1/2 C heavy cream
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/4 t almond extract
  • green food coloring (optional)
  • 1/2 C pecans, halved


  1. In a medium bowl, combined pistachios and 1/4 cup sugar, set aside.
  2. In a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the milk and cream just to a boil.  Remove from heat.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine and whisk egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar.  Gradually whisk 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture.  Gradually add the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream into the hot cream in the saucepan.  Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon and reaches 170°F on an instant read thermometer, about 6 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and strain into a large bowl.  Add pistachio mixture, almond extract and few drops of green  food coloring, stir.  Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1 – 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Pour mixture into the ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s directions.
  6. Five minutes before mixing of ice cream is complete, add cashews.
  7. For thicker ice cream, place into an air tight container and freeze for 2 or more hours.

Pistachio Cashew Ice Cream slightly adapted from FoodNetwork.

6 Responses to A Close to {Sundae Sundays}: Pistachio Cashew Ice Cream

  1. I’m such a fan of pistachios, in everything, and ice cream, of course! This reminds me of the pistachio ice cream I wouldn’t even touch as a kid because of the color, haha! It’s so darn difficult to photograph, I hear you. You did a great job! (ps: where are the cashews you mention in the last paragraph?).

    • Hahaha these photos are unfortunately deceiving but it’s in there. The second photo actually shows the cashews a bit more. Honestly, I was a little disappointed that it didn’t show it more but was too afraid to re-scoop simply because of melting issues. But this ice cream definitely took me by surprise, it’s actually really good! (I know what you mean about the color)

  2. Way to go, Connie! What an awesome project to take on. Not only is it challenging thinking up flavours and photographing (I totally know what you mean here!) but then you get the reward of eating all of that delicious ice cream. Brilliant! I’m not a huge fan of nuts in ice cream (I’m lazy. I don’t want to have to chew my gelato!) but pistachio and almond are totally flavours I can get behind. These photos look lovely and congratulations on finishing what you started. Now i’m looking forward to all of your fall baking!

    • Thanks Nancy! Yea this was a huge commitment (all summer long) and I have a tendency with not following through on some things. It was def a challenge and its main purpose was a personal one; wanting to see if I can prove to myself that I can complete something. Maybe it’s because “eyes” are on me but in any case, I’m very happy I did it. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to cut it short. There are so many flavors out there that I want to try (ex: your caramel swirl chocolate ice cream) It looks divine! ;-)

      • I have a terrible tendency not to follow through on things too. I signed up for 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats last year and probably only posted half the time. I’m going to try it again this year and am aiming for hitting all 12 weeks. And girl, ice cream is good all year round. You can still keep your project going even through fall ‘n winter. Imagine the delicious holiday inspired possibilities! Gingerbread, pumpkin, caramel, mint…I’m drooling already.

        • Oh yea totally! I already have a fall frozen dessert in mind. I’m just going to wait a bit though. And this Christmas treats thing you’re talking about sounds interesting. How did you hear about this?