I’m calling on my Indian roots again today to bring you this delicious kesar pista ice cream. This creamy pistachio ice cream has a light saffron flavour and warming cardamom in addition to the pistachio. So simple to make and utterly delicious, this popular Indian ice cream flavour is sure to be an all round hit!
What is kesar pista ice cream?
Kesar pista ice cream, if you have not heard of this before, quite simply it is a pistachio and saffron ice cream. “Pista” translates from Hindi to “pistachio” and “kesar” means “saffron”. The two flavours with a little warmth from the cardamom, makes this ice cream a really nostalgic one for me. For anyone else like me, who enjoyed kulfi and pistachios, or any combination of the two, I dedicate this recipe to you 😊
My version of this ice cream is not made in the traditional way found across India. This method is a lot quicker than the traditional way it is made in India. Despite this, I promise it does not skimp on any of the flavour or joy of the ice cream itself.
What ingredients do I need to make kesar pista ice cream?
- Pistachio nuts: you can buy these pre shelled to make life easier for you, though I find shelling them actually rather therapeutic!
- Saffron strands: these are unique amongst spices, and often nicknamed the queen of spices.
- Cardamom powder: this gives your ice cream a gently warming spiced flavour which marries so well with the pistachio and saffron flavours.
- Condensed milk: this thick milk acts as a sweetener and softens the ice cream, allowing for easier scooping.
- Double cream: also known as heavy whipping cream, this ingredient cannot be replaced with milk or another alternative.
What tools do I need to make no churn pistachio ice cream?
- Digital kitchen scales*: I do provide all my measurements in cups too, but I continue to find weighing out my ingredients is far more accurate for baking. A set of digital kitchen scales is so useful and essential for me.
- Measuring spoons*: good to have a set of dedicated measuring spoons, as this is more accurate than using your every day teaspoons and tablespoons which can vary greatly in size.
- Small mixing bowl*: to mix together your saffron and warm cream, allowing your saffron to release its flavours and aromas.
- Spice grinder*: to blitz up your pistachio nuts for your pistachio nut butter. This disperses all the delicious flavour, oils and colour of the pistachios more evenly through your ice cream. I actually used a spice grinder for this, but you can use a food processor too.
- Mixing bowl*: to beat all your ingredients together until thick before leaving to chill for a few hours to turn into ice cream!
- Handheld electric mixer*: makes it so much easier to mix all your ingredients together and thicken your cream before chilling.
- Spatula*: useful to help make sure you’ve not missed mixing anything in, but also to scrape your bowl out when transferring mixture to another container.
- Storage container with lid*: to store your ice cream in when in the freezer.
How to make kesar pista ice cream
This pistachio ice cream comes together in really quick time, then it chills in the freezer overnight before enjoying! One of the easiest desserts to make, this homemade no churn pistachio ice cream is fabulous served on its own or with fresh raspberries.
Step 1: In a small bowl, heat up 2 tbsp of cream (taken from your larger amount of cream) until almost boiling. Crush the saffron strands into the cream, stir and set aside to cool.
Step 2: Using a high speed blender, blitz your pistachio nuts until they turn into a nut butter. This takes a few minutes. First your pistachios will be broken into small chunks, like flour. Keep blitzing and it will start to change into more of a paste. You will eventually see the oils being released from the nuts. Keep mixing and your mixture will turn into the consistency of smooth peanut butter. This is exactly what we want, perfect!
Step 3: Into your large mixing bowl, pour in your double cream (heavy whipping cream), condensed milk, cardamom powder, pistachio butter and saffron infused cream. With the help of your electric hand mixer, beat your mixture until it all comes together. Keep beating until your ice cream mixture is homogenous and thickened.
Step 4: Spoon or pour your mixture into your storage container. I like to sprinkle some additional chopped pistachios on top and a few additional strands of saffron too. Cover and chill your ice cream for at least six hours or overnight. When you want to indulge, remove it from the freezer about 10 minutes before scooping for it to soften slightly. Enjoy!
Can I use evaporated milk instead of condensed milk to make this ice cream?
No, condensed milk is different to evaporated milk, and one will not substitute the other in this recipe.
Can I use single cream or whipping cream instead of double cream to make kesar pista ice cream?
Basically, you need to use a cream that will thicken to stiff peaks when whisked. Here in the UK, this means using double cream or whipping cream and not single cream. As a guide, you need to use a cream that has 35% or more fat content.
Do I need an electric mixer or grinder to make this pistachio ice cream?
Whilst you do not need an electric mixer or grinder to make this recipe, I would highly recommend using them. Using these tools will make your job with both blitzing the nuts and whipping up the cream a lot easier. Not to mention quicker!
How do I store homemade ice cream?
I used a 2lb loaf tin, just to make it look pretty for my pictures on my blog. However, I would advise using a lidded container to store your ice cream in the freezer.
How long will homemade pistachio ice cream last?
This kesar pista ice cream can be kept in your freezer and enjoyed for up to three weeks.
Can this ice cream be made gluten free and dairy free?
Good news, this ice cream is naturally gluten free! Unfortunately, there is not a dairy free alternative to double cream that can be whipped to stiff peaks. This means this recipe cannot be made dairy free.
Additional tips for making this kesar pista ice cream recipe
- If you are unable to blitz your nuts to make this ice cream, you can buy pre ground pistachios easily online.
- Allow your saffron strands to soak for at least 20 minutes before using them. This allows the flavours to come out for your ice cream.
- When blitzing your pistachio nuts, keep scraping your bowl down to make sure all the nuts are well mixed. Making a nut butter is really easy with the correct tools, but it does take a fair bit of mixing! Just keep mixing and scraping the bowl down until your nuts go from small pieces to a coarse butter until smooth. You will also see some of the oils being released from the pistachios.
- Ensure you use a cream that will whip to stiff peaks in this ice cream. If you use something that will not whip up, you will end up with a tasty but rather runny mess!
- Keep your cream, and beaters, in the fridge to keep cold right until you are ready to use them to make your pistachio ice cream.
- Remove your ice cream from the freezer about 10-15 minutes before you want to enjoy it. Dip your ice cream scoop in a mug of boiling water. Dry it off then scroop. Warming it up will help it glide through your ice cream more easily.
If you have any questions about this pistachio ice cream recipe, please comment below and I’ll do my best to help! And if you made and enjoyed this, I’d love to hear from you too!
And don’t forget: if you make this recipe for kesar pista ice cream, please do consider leaving a rating and review below. I would really appreciate your time for it, and I know many others will feel the same too. You could even post a picture on Instagram and tag me when you share it with the world. You know I would love to see!
More ice cream recipes for you to enjoy
Don’t forget too to check out these other easy peasy ice cream recipes on my blog:
Mango and pistachio ice cream: my mango and pistachio ice cream is creamy, dreamy and lightly spiced with cardamom. This no churn recipe is perfect for warm summer days!
Biscoff ice cream: another easy no churn recipe you can make at home without an ice cream maker. Perfect for glorious hot summer days and Biscoff fans everywhere!
Thanks so much for joining me today, my friends! Enjoy! x
Recommended equipment I used *
|Digital kitchen scales||Measuring spoons|
|Small mixing bowl||Spice grinder|
|Mixing bowl||Handheld electric mixer|
|Spatula||Storage container with lid|