My Amazon wishlist is ever-growing. If anyone wants to give me a gift, that would be the first and only place to look. I especially have a long list of cookbooks I want. I do a lot of research on them, since it's something I'm going to treasure forever, and I want to make sure I'll really use them all the time and so far, so good. I thought it'd be a long time before I'd get anything off my wishlist but then my mom gave me a very old B&N gift card that she insisted she wasn't going to get to use.
I personally think B&N is vastly overpriced especially compared to Amazon. I'm actually still not sure how they're still in business. I went and compared prices on my smartphone to the potential books I wanted, and Amazon was about $10 cheaper in most cases. I finally settled on a book that used up the entire gift card so I wouldn't have to come back... and I think I made a great choice....
I settled on Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home! It's a NYTimes best seller and has rave reviews everywhere, although I had never heard of the store or seen the brand anywhere. Whenever I first buy or receive a cookbook, the first thing I like to do is read it from cover to cover. Maybe it's odd, but I just love it! I especially enjoyed reading her foreword about how she started her company; gives me hope!
So out of all her crazy recipes like sweet corn/black raspberry, and gorgonzola dolce, I chose one which contained ingredients that were already sitting in my pantry. This toasted pistachio ice cream did not disappoint! I loved loved loved the taste of this. And I'm not one to ever choose pistachio as an ice cream flavor when I'm out (mint chocolate chip FTW!).
I poured some chocolate ganache over the top of each bowl which is simply the best topping of all time.
Just a note, I found shelled, unsalted, already toasted pistachios at Trader Joe's, if you're feeing lazy :)
A sidenote: It's funny how when you see or hear about something, you suddenly see it or hear about it everywhere over the span of a few days. I'm not sure if it's happened to you but it certainly happens to me, and it always makes me wonder... In this case, the day after I bought this book, I delivered my macaron order to Local Harvest Grocery store in St. Louis. I decided to wander around the store since I had never been, and found that they sold Jeni's ice cream in the freezers there. And then I went home and checked my Twitter, and a fellow food blogger had just tweeted that she was craving some Jeni's ice cream. The next day, another friend tweeted a question, urgently asking where she could find Jeni's ice cream in StL. All this did was inspire me to hurry up and make some more flavors! And of course, share them with my StL buddies.
This is truly a great flavor and a very easy way to make ice cream at home. The best part is that none of her recipes contain eggs, so I can save them for macarons...and I don't have to go through the anxiety of dealing with egg yolks over heat, thank goodness.
But I also urge you to check out her book and try it out. This is a great gift and practically a 'must-have' for anyone who owns an ice cream maker! And now I'm going to go share a bowl with Joe and Mila :)
- Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch. In another large bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth.
- In a large saucepan, combine the remaining milk with the heavy cream, sugar and corn syrup. Bring the milk mixture to a boil and cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Off the heat, gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
- Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in the pistachios, almond extract and salt. Set the bowl in the ice water bath and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes.
- Strain the ice cream base into an ice cream maker, pressing the pistachios with the back of a spoon to extract all the flavor, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Pack the ice cream into a plastic container.
- Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream and close with an airtight lid. Freeze the pistachio ice cream until firm, about 4 hours.