Italian Pistachio Gelato

Real Pistachio Gelato is the ultimate Italian gelato experience.  This recipe made with Sicilian pistachios is based on techniques used actual gelaterias.  Finding authentic pistachio paste is key – this is not the time for shortcuts!   The extra effort is worth it,   one bite will instantly transport you to the sunny coast of Sicily! 

  • Author: MJ




  •   70g water
  •   43g sugar 
  •   37g organic corn syrup
  • 100g 100% pistachio paste*


  • 627g whole milk
  • 125g cream 
  • 159g sugar
  •   49g non-fat milk powder
  •     6g tapioca starch
  •   34g organic corn syrup



Make the pistachio cream.  Put the pistachio paste into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. 

Combine the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Stir occasionally.  As soon as the mixture reaches a boil (or 212 degrees on a candy thermometer)  immediately pour it into the mixer. 

Start on low for 30 seconds then mix on high until the pistachio cream is thick and completely cool (when you touch the sides of the bowl it should be close to room temperature)  Cover and refrigerate. 


Combine sugar, non-fat milk powder, and tapioca starch. Mix the milk and cream in a large bowl.  Whisk in the dry ingredients until there are no lumps. Thoroughly incorporate the corn syrup, being sure to scrape all of it into the bowl.  


Place the mixture in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Heat until bubbles start forming around the edges but do not let it come to a full rolling boil.  Keep stirring the mixture while it cooks.  In the last few minutes mix a bit faster as the mixture begins to thicken. 

Once it’s thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, pour it through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl.

Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the gelato to prevent a skin from forming. Put the bowl of hot gelato into an ice bath.


After the gelato has cooled, remove from the ice bath and refrigerate for 4-12 hours.


Mix pistachio cream and gelato together with an immersion blender until completely incorporated. Process the gelato in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

When it reaches the consistency of soft-serve ice cream (about 20-30 minutes on most machines) Scoop into a container, place a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper on the surface and freeze until firm (4 hours minimum)


  • 100% pistachio paste – make sure the only ingredients are pistachios and perhaps pistachio oil.  Products to watch out for:  pistachio ‘cream’ which has added sugars and flavorings, pistachio paste that isn’t 100% pistachio, and pistachio ‘butter’ which has a coarser texture.