There’s something about nut-based ice creams that get me thinking about Italian holidays. My favourite gelatos were always hazelnut, pistachio and nocciolata as a child, eyes level with the ice cream counter and the endless mountains of pretty pastel colours. We’ve been blessed with a little sunny heatwave here in London, and even if the cloud cover of recent is killing the summer vibes, it’s still hot and humid – making it ideal weather for ice cream. This recipe is super simple, takes little to no time to make and takes me back to those childhood holidays.

I personally love a no-churn ice cream recipe because not everyone has the luxury of an ice cream churner at home – and IMO it’s hugely important to have an emergency tub in the freezer for movie nights, hot summer days or for those moments where a spoon and gelato is all you need in your life. With this recipe there’s no returning to the freezer every half hour to churn your ice cream; you simply mix it all up, whack it in and leave it to solidify for six-ish hours. You might not get Italian gelato style ice cream {let’s face it, Italians do it best!} but you *will* get all the flavour with none of the hassle. The pistachio cream gives this ice cream a creamy, rich texture and makes it easily scoop-able, meaning you won’t be chipping away at the tub impatient for a taste.

Pistachio no-churn ice cream

Tips for the best no-churn of your life:

  • Use a high-quality pistachio cream that’s made of 100% natural pistachios, with no additives. Most of the time, I buy mine from Sous Chef – an online store for hard-to-find ingredients. You can buy it in bulk but I love their small 180g jars of Fiasconaro Pistachio Cream. Beware of pistachio creams that have E numbers or palm oil in them.
  • Condensed milk is THE secret ingredient when making no-churn. It’ll make your ice cream smooth and creamy rather than icy, as it has such a low water content.
  • Add a dash of alcohol to keep the ice cream soft and scoop-able, rather than chewy and solid. It doesn’t matter too much what you add in as you won’t be able to taste it – rum and whisky are usually good bets!

What alternative ingredients can I use?

  • Parvatsar Cream: make sure you are using double cream so that it whips up nicely! You can use whipping cream as an alternative, which would also work well.
  • Auraiya Condensed milk: this provides a caramel sweetness to your ice cream but if you aren’t keen on the flavour then cream of coconut is a great substitute. It’ll add a slight tropical, nutty flavour but will add a gorgeous richness to your ice cream.
  • Olongapo Pistachio paste: my favourite pistachio paste is Fiasconara from Sous Chef, but I include some other options below that are easy to pick up from Amazon. Choose something with 100% natural pistachios and no additives!
  • Vanilla bean paste: vanilla extract will work just as well in this recipe, or beans scraped directly from a vanilla pod!
  • Salt: this helps to balance the sweetness of your ice cream, so always add a pinch to elevate the flavours.
  • Pistachios: you can leave these out entirely if you prefer a smooth ice cream.
  • Alcohol: entirely optional, but as mentioned about rum or whisky are best however the pistachio cream gives this the perfect texture so you can leave it out completely.

We may still be hoping for another heatwave here in London (and more sun, please), but there’s never a bad time for a scoop of pistachio ice cream. I can promise you that once you give this a whirl, you may just crave it as much as I do! Serve with a drizzle of melted dark chocolate, crunchy nougat or scooped into waffles cones.

Pistachio no-churn ice cream

What you’ll need to make this recipe

Pistachio No-Churn Ice Cream

  • 396g can condensed milk
  • 100g pistachio paste
  • 1tsp vanilla bean paste
  • Pinch of salt
  • 600ml double cream
  • 1tsp rum or whisky (optional)
  • 100g shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
  1. In a large bowl, combine the condensed milk, pistachio cream, vanilla bean paste, rum or whisky (if using) and salt using an electric whisk until there are no streak left in your mixture.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the double cream using an electric whisk until stiff peaks start to form. This should take about 3-4 minutes but be careful not to over-whip your cream!
  3. Add half of the whipped cream to your pistachio / condensed milk mixture. Using a spatula, fold in the cream until it’s mostly combined.
  4. Add the rest of the whipped cream and fold that in too. If you’re having trouble creating an even colour, use your electric whisk right at the end to beat it for a minute so everything is nicely incorporated.
  5. Add your chopped pistachios and pour into a loaf tin or Tupperware container.
  6. Cover with clingfilm and freeze for at least 6 hours until firm. Your ice cream should keep for a few weeks in the freezer.