Have you ever wondered how to make Italian pistachio gelato? Here is an authentic step by step recipe for you! Learn how to make homemade Italian pistachio gelato and transport yourself to the streets of Italy!
If you want to make it an Italian 'affogato" you can pour Homemade Chocolate Syrup over the top for an extra special treat.
- Why I love this gelato recipe
- Ingredients for Italian pistachio gelato
- Notes on homemade gelato ingredients
- Natural color of pistachio gelato
- How to make pistachio gelato at home
- Pistachio paste for gelato
- How to make pistachio gelato in an ice cream maker
- How is gelato different than ice cream?
- Dairy Free Gelato
- Variations for pistachio gelato
- Recommended gelato maker
- Best freezer-safe storage containers
- Ice cream or gelato scoop recommendations
- How to serve homemade gelato
- Pro TIPS
- How to Make Italian Pistachio Gelato (Recipe)
Why I love this gelato recipe
Every summer when I am in Italy with my family- we eat gelato at least once a day! We general walk to a gelato shop in the afternoon or late evening. Homemade gelato makes a delicious treat any time of day!
I must admit that pistachio gelato is my absolute favorite gelato flavor. Okay, I have a few others: fior di late, lemon, and dark chocolate gelato are among my favorite flavors too. I love the intense flavor of pistachio in this super creamy cool treat.
Craving a frozen lemony treat? This taste just like lemon gelato! Creamy Frozen Lemon Bars with Graham Cracker Crust!
This gelato recipe was inspired by my love for pistachios! More pistachio recipes for you: Italian Pistachio Cream Cake (Sbriciolata), Best Roasted Rack of Lamb with Dijon Pistachio Crust, and Arugula, Apple, and Pistachio Salad in Parmigiano Cups.
I miss authentic Italian gelato so much when I am in America. I thought it was take my own gelato at home the real Italian way! When I crave gelato and want the easy of a store bought variety- I enjoy Talenti Gelato Brand .
Ingredients for Italian pistachio gelato
This Italian gelato recipe contains a few basic ingredients. I use all natural ingredients to keep this authentic gelato recipe.
- 1 recipe for Best Italian Pistachio Cream (ingredients seen in photo)
- Whole milk (you can also use heavy cream or half and half if desired)
- Pistachios, chopped, for serving
See recipe card for quantities.
Notes on homemade gelato ingredients
Use the best quality ingredients for the most flavorful gelato. There aren't many ingredients in gelato, so if you are going to go through the effort of making it from scratch it is important to use high quality ingredients!
Use super-fresh eggs, whole milk, and cream as well as top-quality flavorings, such as vanilla beans, pure vanilla extract, and cocoa powder. If you’re making fruit varieties, use seasonally fresh, perfectly ripe fruits or top-quality fruit purees. I don’t recommend using skim or partially skimmed milk the texture will be more icy than creamy.
Natural color of pistachio gelato
You will notice this pistachio gelato isn't bright florescent green. The reason for that is there are no artificial food dyes in this recipe. The beautiful natural green color comes from the shelled and blended pistachio cream. This is the way I prefer it!
If you want to make your pistachio gelato very green you can add a couple of drops of green food coloring to the milk mixture.
How to make pistachio gelato at home
This is a basic recipe for how to make authentic Italian pistachio gelato. You will see it is easier than you think to make this creamy gelato recipe!
Make the pistachio paste or pistachio cream
This is the magic part to create smooth and delicious pistachio gelato. The extra effort will deliver a great gelato.
Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil and add the shelled pistachios. Let them boil for 4 minutes then drain them and place them on a clean kitchen towel.
In a medium mixing bowl whip the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch with an electric mixer until light and foamy, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Blend the egg yolk and corn starch mixture with the pistachios and some of the milk.
Heat the milk and slowly add the egg yolk and pistachio cream mixture. At the end add the vanilla extract. Optional: add vanilla bean by scraping the inside of a vanilla bean pod.
Pistachio paste for gelato
The key to a super smooth and creamy pistachio gelato is making this pistachio cream! This pistachio custard serves as the perfect base for gelato.
Pistachio paste or pistachio cream
This is the pistachio cream for the base of your pistachio gelato. Once you learn how to make pistachio paste from scratch and taste how incredibly delicious it is compared to store-bought products, you’ll want to use it in everything, or eat it plain!
Other uses for pistachio cream: Pistachio Pastry Cream makes a creamy and custardy filling for traditional Italian Cream Horns (Cannoncini), Puff Pastry filled with Italian Cream, and Italian Crumb Cake with Pistachio filling.
You will know when your pistachio creamy custard or pistachio cream is done when it sticks to the back of a wooden spoon, or spatula.
How to make pistachio gelato in an ice cream maker
Now, for the final step to create the smoothest and dreamiest pistachio gelato of your dreams.
Heat milk and sugar until warm and the sugar dissolves into the milk.
Make the pistachio gelato mixture: Whisk the pistachio cream base into the milk mixture. Mix until combined and let cool (covered) in the fridge for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
Let it cool! This part is so important. You want to cool the mixture for at least 3 hours overnight before putting it in the ice cream maker.
Let it churn! Poor mixture into ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacture's instructions. When it is thick and ready transfer to a freezer container and freeze at least 2 hours before enjoying. The hardest part is waiting for it to freeze!
How is gelato different than ice cream?
A post by, Food Nouveau, describes the difference perfectly with these points:
Gelato is not just the Italian word for ice cream. Here’s what makes gelato unique:
- Gelato contains less fat than regular ice cream. Ice cream’s main ingredient is heavy cream, whereas gelato is made mainly from milk. Some gelato recipes use a small quantity of cream, and some use only whole milk.
- Gelato is denser than ice cream. Gelato is churned at a lower speed than ice cream. Overall, the finished product contains less air than ice cream. This is why gelato is known for its dense texture. It is super creamy and luxurious.
- Gelato is served at warmer temperatures than ice cream. Storing gelato at warmer temperatures makes it softer, providing its signature silky texture. This creates a softer silkier feel to the taste and tongue even though it is lower in fat.
Dairy Free Gelato
If you’re lactose intolerant, you can substitute lactose-free milk and cream. Depending on the variety it may change the texture slightly.
Variations for pistachio gelato
I prefer pistachio gelato pure and simple. You can make it like this the first time and try another variety the next time you make it.
- Fresh - add lemon extract or fresh lemon zest for a delicious lemon and pistachio combo.
- Deluxe - add chocolate chips or chocolate chunk to the pistachio mixture before placing it in the ice cream maker.
Recommended gelato maker
There are many ice cream makers on the market and almost any will do. Some are faster than others and this is my personal favorite ice cream maker.
It is also the absolute best quality for the price. If you are looking for an affordable ice cream machine to make ice cream at home that will do the job this is the one for you.
Best freezer-safe storage containers
You will need a good quality freezer-safe container to store your frozen treat. There are many types of storage containers for homemade ice cream. Here are three of my favorites. Either of these will work great for storing homemade ice cream or gelato.
- Freeze safe glass storage containers. These are great! I use them to store dinner leftovers as well.
- 4 (6 oz) mini tubs. These are small personal sized serving size cups.
- 1.5 Quart, BPA-Free Reusable Storage Tubs with Lids. Comes in a variety of colors. This is a large tub that will fit all of your gelato for this recipe.
*contains affilate amazon links
Ice cream or gelato scoop recommendations
Here are my two favorite ice cream scoops I use at home. It is really a matter of preference and what kind of "scoop" you are looking to achieve.
- THE LAST ICE CREAM SCOOP YOU'LL EVER NEED - Genuine heavy duty tool that is strong and sturdy. It comes in lots of fun colors too!
- If you prefer an efficient SPRING CLIP and lever for the perfect round scoop this is the one for you.
How to serve homemade gelato
An important tip to keep in mind when swerving gelato is to remember to take your gelato out of the freezer 10 to 15 minutes before serving it. Your freezer at home is much colder than the temperature they store gelato at most gelato shops.
Gelato’s lower fat content means it freezes to a rock-hard consistency! In order to achieve the texture of the gelato shop, you need to leave it out, and trust me, it is worth the wait! The texture softens and turns into the creamy dreamy gelato you know and love.
There are a few main differences between gelato and ice cream. 1)Gelato contains less fat than regular ice cream. 2) Gelato is denser than ice cream. 3)Gelato is served at warmer temperatures than ice cream. Read the post for more explanations and details!
Homemade gelato will keep, frozen, for up to two weeks. Store in proper air tight containers in the freezer. Always take the gelato out to room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before serving to soften it and make it easier to scoop.
- Peel the pistachios—it makes a difference: Most shelled pistachios come partly peeled. If you look closely, the nuts still have a thin skin over them. Removing those skins makes for an extra-smooth pistachio cream. It also creates a more vibrant color.
- Use a blender to achieve an extra smooth and creamy consistency.
- Refrigerate that pistachio gelato custard for hours—preferably overnight—before you churn it: A cold custard is a key to creating the smoothest, creamiest gelato. Refrigerating the custard for at least 3 hours is good, but overnight is even better. Plan ahead for optimal results.
- Use quality ingredients. Since there aren't many ingredients use the best to produce the best taste and texture.
Make sure to leave a ⭐️star rating on the recipe card and comment below if you make the recipe. I love to connect with you through my recipes.Print
- 1 recipe for pistachio cream (click for link)
- 3 cups whole milk (you can also use heavy cream or half and half if desired)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup chopped pistachios for topping
- Make the pistachio cream according to the recipe. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, warm the milk and sugar over medium heat until it just starts to bubble around the edge (no need to bring it to a boil). Whisk a few minutes until the sugar dissolves.
- Make the pistachio gelato: Whisk the pistachio cream base into the cream mixture. Mix until combined and let cool (covered) in the fridge for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
- Pour into the bowl of an ice cream maker. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Stop the machine when the gelato is icy but still soft.
- Transfer the gelato to an airtight container and freeze until firm, about two hours. The gelato will keep, frozen, for up to two weeks. Always take the gelato out to room temperature 10 to 15 minutes before serving to soften it and make it easier to scoop.
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 20 minutes + freezing time
- Category: Sweet
- Method: Italian
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: pistachio gelato, Italian gelato recipe, pistachio cream, dessert recipe