Sunday, September 29, 2013

Pistachio Gelato & Gluten Free Ice Cream Cones

If there’s a flavor that reminds me the most of traveling abroad, that flavor would be pistachio. Specifically pistachio ice cream or pistachio gelato.  When I taste pistachio, I’m instantly transported back to the trips I’ve taken & the memories that were created.

I have fond memories of consuming many, many pistachio ice cream cones in both the Czech Republic and France. Though I can’t remember a specific pistachio experience in London, I’m sure there had to be one!

In deciding what was best to do with the remainder of my precious pistachio paste, ice cream or gelato seemed like the perfect thing. Though it’s nearly the end of September, the weather remains hot--definitely still ice cream weather for a long while yet.

My pistachio paste that I brought back from France is a bit more intense, both on the flavor side and the color side, than I expected. There’s no question by both the appearance & the taste that this ice cream is pistachio! I am rather picky about my pistachio ice cream.... I like it to taste like pistachio, but not actually have any pistachio pieces in it. Generally, I’m not a huge fan of any nuts in my ice cream.

Ice cream out of a dish is great, but there’s something a little extra special about cones. Since I can’t find gluten free cones here, the best course of action was to make them myself.  I don’t have a waffle cone iron or a pizzelle iron, but I do have my beloved krumkake iron that unfortunately only usually gets put to good use during the Christmas season. It worked as a perfect stand in.

While esthetically the cones could use a little work (it was difficult to get the closed point at the bottom due to how extremely hot they were!), they tasted perfect. The slight nutty flavor from the almond flour and coconut oil complimented the intense pistachio flavor quite nicely.  You could absolutely not tell that they were gluten free!

With every mini-cone that I’ve consumed, the travel bug continues to bite & I look forward to future travels & adventures abroad. Hopefully they, too, will have some sort of pistachio ice cream cone.

Pistachio Gelato
Inspired by David Lebovitz

Classic gelato is made using whole milk (no cream) and a good amount of egg yolks; however, this version, inspired by a David Lebovitz recipe, has milk but no yolks. He writes that not including the yolks is not only mimics the classic Sicilian style but also allows the pistachio flavor to better shine through. I found, however, that my particular pistachio paste was particularly strong in flavor. I added the addition of cream cheese to try to soften the pistachio paste flavor just slightly.

32 g (4 Tbl) Cornstarch
4 cups whole milk, divided
65+65 g (2/3 c) sugar 

1.5 oz Cream Cheese, slightly softened

1/8 tsp Almond Extract
7  oz (200 g g) Pistachio Paste
a couple drops of lemon juice 

1 Tbl Vodka (optional) 

  1.  In a small bowl, make a slurry with the cornstarch & approximately half a cup of milk.  Mix until the starch is well dissolved & there are no lumps. I use my clean fingers for this particular job. 
  2. Pour the remaining milk into a sauce pan & sprinkle the sugar over the top. Heat over medium high heat, not stirring at all. Once the mixture almost begins to boil, whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Cook at a simmer, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. 
  3. Place the cream cheese in a medium sized bowl.  Add a little of the hot dairy to the cream cheese & whisk until smooth. Add a little more dairy & whisk again.  Then, pour the cheese mixture back into the dairy.  Cool slightly 
  4. Add the almond extract and pistachio paste. Whisk until completely smooth.  Transfer to a clean bowl & chill over an ice bath until cool.  Cover the bowl & refrigerate until very cold, preferably overnight.  
  5. Just before processing in the ice cream machine, whisk in the vodka, if using.  The alcohol will keep the gelato from freezing rock solid.  Churn the ice cream according to your ice cream machine’s instructions. 
  6. Place the finished ice cream into a container with a lid & freeze a couple of hours before serving. 

Ice Cream Cones
Inspired by The Advanced Professional Pastry Chef
yield’s approximately 14 small cones 

1 oz (2 Tbl) Butter, melted
1 oz (2 Tbl) Coconut Oil, melted
2 oz Confectioners Sugar, sifted

2 oz (1/4 c, approx 2 large)  Egg White
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
pinch salt

2 oz Almond Flour 
2 oz GF AP flour

  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter & coconut oil. 
  2. Sift the confectioners sugar over the butter & oil while continuing to whisk. 
  3. Drizzle in the egg white & mix well.  Add the vanilla and salt. 
  4. Pour in the almond flour. Whisk until smooth. 
  5. Add the GF flour & whisk until everything is homogenized.
  6. Refrigerate the batter for at least 30 minutes. 
  7. Preheat the iron. A Pizzelle Bakeror Cone Maker is ideal, but I used a krumkake iron because it was what I have.  
  8. Drop the batter by the tablespoon-ful (I used a small cookie scoop) onto the hot iron. Close the top & cook until golden.  
  9. Immediately remove from the iron & wrap around a cone form. Be careful not to burn your fingers! Wear gloves if the hot cookie burns your fingers too much. Try to make the bottom of the cone into the best point possible. Allow to cool for a minute in the cone form, then transfer the a rack to continue cooling. 
  10. Repeat the process with the remaining batter, making as many cones as needed right then.  
  11. Batter will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator. Baked cones are very susceptible to moisture & must be stored in an airtight container once they are cool. It is best to make the cones only as needed rather than trying to store already made cones. 

Note: this post contains affiliate links. 


  1. These look fantastic! I used to be apathetic about pistachio, but over the past few years I've become seriously obsessed--I want to make EVERYTHING pistachio. (A sign of old person tastebuds, perhaps?) I'm so jealous of your pistachio paste! I need to track some down online, because it's so hard to get that vibrant color and flavor using the nuts themselves.

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  3. where do you get your pistachio paste? :)

    1. I brought that pistachio paste back from France, but & King Arthur have good options :)

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