Lemon Pistachio Ice Cream Sandwiches

Do you ever go through phases in your food and what you eat? I do. And recently, I've had a pistachio phase. I've never been much of a pistachio person. I've always been a little scared by the fact they're still in their shell and green. But my mom bought some recently and wow. I don't know why I never had or liked them before. They were amazing.

And, naturally, as soon as I had some, I had to come up with a way to bake with them. 

I knew lemon and pistachio were a combination, and from all the spring weather we've been having, I wanted some lemon in my life. I actually started by trying to make a lemon-pistachio swirl bundt cake that, quite frankly, failed. I personally thought it lacked any sort of flavor. So that recipe will not be gracing our site.


But I couldn't give up! I wanted lemon and pistachio. And I knew pistachio ice cream was a thing, and I honestly had never had any. So I turned to Jeni's Ice Cream book, where we go thte Buckeye Blueberry Swirl and Salted Caramel ice creams recipes and those wee hands-down THE best ice creams I've ever had.


And she certainly didn't disappoint with this pistachio ice cream.

It was wonderful, rich in pistachio flavor, and it didn't taste fake because you grind up actual pistachios to get the flavor. And there's even the occasional chunk from pistachio paste that gives you a little pocket of pistachio and that pretty speckled look.

It's amazing on it's own. Or sandwiched in between two lemon whoopies pies. The lemon in the whoopie pies is pretty subtle but it brings it all together. You wouldn't want one to overpower the other, and they merge together in perfect harmony. They are equal and both improved by being together.


Actually, they're a little like peanut butter and jelly. You can have a plain peanut butter sandwich, and you can have the pistachio ice cream plain. But you can't have a plain jelly sandwich, and you can't really eat the whoopie pies plain.


Even if you're not going through a pistachio phase, you should make these. Even if you don't like pistachio, you should try these. Basically just make these. You might find that you love pistachio.


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Roasted Pistachio Ice Cream

From: Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home

1 cup shelled unsalted pistachios, divided in half
2 cups whole milk - I used coconut milk
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 oz (3 Tbsp) cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
1/2 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 350F.

Spread pistacios onto a small baking sheet and toast in oven for 10-12 minutes, until fragrant and starting to turn brown. Remove from oven.

Roughly chop 1/2 cup roasted pistachios and reserve for mixing in later. Place the other 1/2 cup in a food processor and process until you get a smooth paste.

In a small bowl, make a slurry with 2 Tbsp of milk and the cornstarch. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the cream cheese, pistachio paste, and salt.

Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-qt saucepan. Bring to boil over med-high heat and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in slurry.

Bring mixture back to a boil over med-high heat and cook until slightly thickened (~1 minute). Remove from heat.

Whisk the hot milk mixture in to the cream cheese mixture until smooth. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight, until completely cool.

Process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Add the almond extract after adding the ice cream to the ice cream maker.

Layer the ice cream with chopped pistachios in a storage container and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.


Lemon Whoopie Pies

From: Big Fat Cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) usalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 large egg

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk


Position a rack in the middle of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and butter the paper.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest until smooth, about 3 minutes.  Stop the mixer to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during the mixing.  Add the egg, lemon juice and vanilla, mixing until blended, about 1 minute.  The batter may look curdled.  On low speed, add half of the flour mixture, mixing just to incorporate it.  Mix in the buttermilk.  Mix in the remaining flour mixture just until it is incorporated and the batter looks smooth again.

Drop heaping tablespoons (about 3 level Tablespoons each for a giant cookie) of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 3 inches apart.  Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the tops feel firm, about 12 minutes.  With the exception of a time line at the edges, the tops of the cookies should not brown.  Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.