A Pair of Peachy Keen Skillet Desserts

I’m ready for fall—there, I said it. Summer has been wonderful this year, especially for the fact that we have enjoyed the company of friends more this year than in the previous two summers. It’s good to be (mostly) back to normal. But my confession is true; I have found myself longing for the goodness that autumn brings—you know, cooler evening breezes, crisp morning air, comfy sweaters and (of course) the food. Soon enough, I suppose.

As we wind our way through these waning days of summer, I am delighted with the freshness we have enjoyed from our own garden and the various other local sources that have supplied our meals.

We are clinging to the end of fresh peach season here in the South, and I have two delicious desserts to share with you. It is unusual for me to share two recipes at once but, given the short time left for enjoying fresh, in-season peaches, I thought it made sense to present these at the same time. Both are prepared in a skillet, and both include fresh peaches, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. One is super simple to make and serve straight from the skillet; the other is a bit more involved, though not difficult, and serves up with a more elegant flair. Either is delicious, and if you only have enough time (or peaches) to make one of them, you can hardly choose wrong.

Peach Bourbon Upside-down Skillet Cake

The first of these yummy desserts was made “on location,” just about a month ago, during a visit with friends outside Raleigh, N.C. When we arranged our day trip to visit Bob and Peg, I told them I’d love to make a dessert using the fresh peaches off their backyard tree. If you have the time to invest in a few extra steps, this is the dessert I recommend. For me, the trickiest part is inverting the thing while the heavy cast iron skillet is still warm. If you’re comfortable doing so, this cake is well worth the effort, and it’s one that I have made several times over the years. I turned it into a bit of an adventure this time by packing up all the pre-measured ingredients and then assembling and baking it at Bob and Peg’s. This was easier than it might sound, and it went like this:


As with any upside-down cake, this dessert was built backward, beginning with the sticky-sweet, sugary base in the skillet and finishing with the batter that gets poured right on top—which, of course, becomes the bottom after the cake is baked and inverted.

I like a combination of white and brown sugars for the base because the white sugar puts a bit of crunch in the caramel and the brown sugar provides more depth of flavor. Add both to the butter as it melts over a stovetop burner and let it mingle into syrupy lusciousness. If the butter gets a little browned in the process of melting it down, so much the better, and you must know me well enough to know that I had to pour in a shot of bourbon once the sugar mixture was bubbly. Bob was pouring bourbon anyway, and peaches and bourbon is a match made in summer heaven, as far as I’m concerned. Next, arrange sliced peaches all the way around over the butter-sugar base.


The batter for this cake is pleasantly dense, with cornmeal adding whole grain goodness and texture, and buttermilk providing a necessary acidic boost to the baking powder and soda. Begin by beating softened butter and sugar together, then adding eggs and vanilla, and finally blending in the flour and buttermilk ingredients.


Pour the batter over the peaches in the hot skillet and transfer it directly to a preheated oven until the edges have pulled away from the skillet and the center resembles cornbread. After a brief rest, run a knife around the edge to loosen the cake and carefully invert it onto a serving plate. If any of the “upside-down” sticks, replace it on the cake and smooth it while it is still warm. Delicious!


At the end of this post, I will include easy, click-to-print recipe cards for both of these peachy skillet recipes. But first, I must show you what our pal, Bob, was doing to break my baking concentration with his magical cocktail-making abilities. My husband and I always have a wonderful time hanging out with Bob and Peg, and as we waited for the peach bourbon upside-down cake to finish baking, we witnessed a master class in—get this—smoking cocktails. Yes.


Now, the cocktail itself could not have been simpler. No measuring required, even—it was straight up bourbon over a big-ass ice cube. But that smoke infusion contraption took a nice bourbon into a whole new territory, and you can bet I’ll be getting one of those before I present this year’s signature Halloween cocktail. More to come. 😉


Ready to talk about this other delicious, peachy keen skillet dessert? It’s a cobbler!

Peach Praline Skillet Cobbler

For now, let’s shift gears back to the cast-iron skillet and talk about this ridiculously easy cobbler, which I whipped up in no more than 15 minutes, plus baking. The only time-consuming thing here was peeling and cutting up the peaches, which was hardly a burden, given that I thoroughly enjoyed licking the juices off my fingers when I finished. These particular peaches were gifted to us by our neighbor, Pam, following a day trip she had made to the North Carolina mountains. Pam has followed my adventures on Comfort du Jour from the beginning, and she said upon delivering these perfectly ripe peaches, “I can’t wait to see what you create with these!” Well, here it is—a skillet cobbler!


I only used three of the peaches here (they were huge), and that measured about 2 cups, once they were peeled, pitted and cut into bits. In a pinch, I’m sure you could use thawed frozen peaches as well, which means this dessert doesn’t have to be limited to summertime enjoyment.

There are several varieties of cobbler out there, and because we roll pretty casual in the South, I skipped over the options that required making biscuits or pastry dough and steered directly to the “batter” option. This is a dessert that seems incorrect, because the batter is quite runny, and it’s hard to visualize how it will come together in the oven (but it does). The batter is made with self-rising flour, sugar, cinnamon and milk—that’s it. Me being me, though, I had to incorporate some amount of whole grain into it, so for this batch, I also stirred in 1/3 cup of quick-cooking oats and that turned out to be a great decision. Unlike a typical cobbler with juicy, almost soupy consistency, this one held together more like a custard because the oats plumped up inside the cobbler. I would not recommend increasing the oats because it might turn out gummy, and I am sure that quick oats is the way to go. Old fashioned, rolled oats may not cook through as tender, or they may absorb too much of the liquid in the batter.


While I measured and mixed those ingredients, I pre-heated the oven with a half stick of butter in it, and then swirled the browned butter around to fully coat the pan once the oven was hot. The batter is slowly poured into the hot buttered skillet, and then the peaches are arranged (if you want to call it that) all over the top. Typically, a cobbler is sprinkled lightly with sugar before it’s baked, but I can’t stick with typical, so I chopped up some pecan pralines (from Trader Joe’s, but anything similar will work) and scattered those on top instead.

Isn’t this just peachy? 🙂

As I said, you can’t go wrong with either of these peachy keen skillet desserts, so grab your cast iron and peel those peaches and enjoy what’s left of summer.

Peach Bourbon Upside-down Skillet Cake

  • Servings: 8
  • Print

This beautiful skillet dessert makes the most of fresh, late-summer peaches, and bourbon marries nicely into the “upside-down” as cornmeal brings texture to every bite.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 stick salted butter (for the upside-down)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1 shot bourbon (optional, but heck yes)
  • 4 medium fresh peaches, sliced with peel
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup medium grind cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecan pieces (optional)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened (for batter)
  • 3/4 cup cane sugar (for batter)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken well
  • Whipped cream for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F, with oven rack in the center position.
  2. Place a 10″ cast iron skillet over medium heat. Heat first amount of butter until melted. Add brown and cane sugars and stir to combine. Let them mingle over the heat until the mixture looks dissolved and begins to bubble. Add the bourbon (if using) and stir to blend. Reduce heat to low and arrange peach slices in a round pattern over the syrupy bourbon mixture. Set aside while you prepare the batter.
  3. Combine flour and cornmeal in a medium bowl. Add pecans, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside for later addition to the batter.
  4. Using a handheld mixer, cream together the remaining sugar with the stick of unsalted butter. Beat this mixture until it’s lighter and fluffier in texture. Add eggs, one at a time, beating completely to blend. Beat in vanilla.
  5. Use a rubber spatula to fold about half of the flour mixture into the batter, blending until all dry ingredients are incorporated. Gently mix the buttermilk into the batter, and then fold the remaining flour mixture, again blending until no dry spots of flour are visible.
  6. Pour the batter over the peaches in the skillet, taking care not to disturb the arrangement. Gently smooth the batter, and slide the skillet into the oven.
  7. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until baked batter has pulled away from the edges of the skillet and the cake portion tests clean when a toothpick is inserted into the center.
  8. Cool 15 minutes before loosening the cake around the edges. Carefully invert the cake onto a large platter. If any bits of peach get stuck to the skillet, place them back into place and smooth the upside-down caramel coating while it’s still warm.
Slice into wedges when cooled and serve with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream. Wrap leftovers in plastic and keep in the fridge.


Peach Praline Skillet Cobbler

  • Servings: 6
  • Print

This recipe is easy as can be, and a bit of quick-cooking oats mixed into the batter gives the cobbler a touch of whole grain goodness and a wonderful texture.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter (4 Tbsp.)
  • 3/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1 cup self-rising flour (see ingredient note below)
  • 1/3 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • About 3 large peaches, or enough to measure 2 heaping cups (peel and chop)
  • 1/2 cup candied pecans, roughly chopped (I used Trader Joe’s pecan pralines)

Note: self-rising flour already has the proper ratio of leavening agent; if you do not have self-rising flour, use regular all-purpose flour and add to it 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder and 1/4 tsp. salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F, with oven rack in center position. Place cold butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet and put it in the oven during preheating. Keep an eye on it so that the butter does not burn.
  2. Whisk together the self-rising flour, sugar, oats and cinnamon. Add the milk to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined, and no pockets of unincorporated dry ingredients remain. The batter will be quite runny.
  3. Remove hot skillet from the oven and swirl the pan to evenly coat with the melted butter. Slowly pour the batter right into the center of the pan. The butter will naturally scoot out to the edges of the pan, and that’s OK. It may also seem to foam a bit at the edges, which is normal.
  4. Top the batter filling evenly with the peach chunks. Scatter the chopped candied pecans over the top. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, until the cobbler is golden brown and bubbly in spots. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


S’mores Ice Cream

There is something very special and nostalgic about s’mores, the delightfully sugary campfire treat that I first learned of when I was a young girl. I cannot say for sure that my first experience of s’mores was during my time as a Girl Scout, though legend has it a troop leader named Loretta Scott Crew first dreamed them up to feed 16 hungry girl campers in 1927. But I do know that my first taste of this wonderful confection—toasted marshmallow and Hershey’s chocolate square, melted between two graham crackers—was like a seductive symphony of ooey-gooey summer heaven. The only cooking involved in making s’mores is toasting a marshmallow to golden perfection, and then allowing the contained heat within the marshmallow to melt the piece of chocolate bar when you squish the graham cracker cookies together.

Truth be told, I was prone to wreck my marshmallows by over-toasting them. I’d position my marshmallow stick (and yes, where I come from, we used actual sticks) directly into the hottest part of the campfire until my puffy marshmallows blazed with a blue light around them. I’d blow out the fire, only to skim off and eat the scorched sugary jacket and plunge them back into the fire for another round of overcooking. I’m quite sure that was not the intention behind the “toasted” marshmallow portion of s’mores, but nobody ever accused me of following the rules—I like what I like.

Now that I’m all grown up, I still love the idea of s’mores, but I cannot fathom the notion of sitting around a campfire in the dead heat of summer, and we don’t usually fire up our patio chiminea until at least October. Not even for a sticky-sweet s’more—sorry.

Luckily, I have other plans for those delicious flavors, and just in the nick of time, it seems, given that today is National S’mores Day. Why, I wondered, couldn’t I represent the same s’mores flavors in a cold treat form that was more suitable for the middle of August?

No campfire required!

And that was my approach to this yummy spectacle of summer sweetness. For a change of pace, I skipped the eggs in my ice cream base and used sweetened condensed milk instead. I wanted the vanilla ice cream to be a pure palate of white, but I was also trying to avoid cooking as much as possible. It’s been pretty dang hot here in the South, and if I have the option to keep the stove turned off, I’m taking it. The marshmallow swirl was also a no-cook step, and for this, I relied on a tried-and-true fruit dip recipe that fuses marshmallow fluff with cream cheese. The dairy ingredient gave the fluff just enough body to take away the ultra-sticky consistency but retain the marshmallow flavor.

See how the cream cheese mellowed out the sticky marshmallow fluff? And it still tastes exactly like marshmallow (but creamier).

I did turn on the stove briefly to make the fudgy swirl that represents the melted chocolate square of a traditional s’more, but that was a small price to pay for this delicious final result.

Looks like delicious black gold, doesn’t it?

Happy S’mores Day, everyone!

Yes, please, may I have s’more?!

Ingredients


Ice Cream Base

14.5 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 tsp. real vanilla extract

1 Tbsp. vanilla flavored vodka (optional, for improved texture)


Gooey Marshmallow Swirl

2 oz. full-fat cream cheese (this is 1/4 of a regular brick)

1 cup marshmallow fluff (give or take, as this stuff is difficult to scoop and measure)


Chocolate Fudge Ripple

1/2 cup cane sugar

1/3 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup water

3 Tbsp. Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa

3 Tbsp. King Arthur Double Dutch Dark cocoa

1/2 tsp. real vanilla extract

Pinch sea salt

and…

Of course, you will also need graham crackers, about 6 cookie sheets, broken into pieces


Instructions

For the base of the ice cream, whisk together the condensed milk, whole milk and heavy cream. When the mixture is smooth and even, stir in vanilla extract. Cover and refrigerate until all other ingredients are cold and ready for layering.

For the marshmallow swirl, use an electric mixer to whip the cream cheese and marshmallow fluff together. Allow enough time for the mixture to settle into a smooth consistency. Cover and refrigerate.

For the fudge ripple, combine sugar, corn syrup, water and cocoa powders in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk constantly until mixture reaches a just-barely-boiling point. Remove from heat and stir in sea salt and vanilla extract. Transfer to a bowl, cool several minutes, then cover and refrigerate until fully chilled.  

To make the layered ice cream: Freeze the base ice cream according to manufacturer’s instructions; my Cuisinart machine takes about 20 minutes. During the final minute, add the vanilla flavored vodka. This ingredient is not essential, but it helps make the ice cream scoopable immediately upon removal from the freezer. If you avoid alcohol—no problem; simply remove the ice cream about 15 minutes before serving to slightly soften.

When ice cream is finished churning, add a slight ribbon of fudgy ripple to the bottom of an insulated ice cream container. Spoon in a few dollops of the ice cream base, followed by the graham cracker pieces and a generous drizzling of the marshmallow fluff mixture. Swirl on more fudge ripple, then repeat with ice cream, graham pieces and marshmallow fluff mixture. Be generous with the s’mores ingredients for best results. Any remaining fluff or fudge swirl mixture can be used to “dress up” your ice cream at serving time.



Transfer ice cream container to the freezer for several hours (preferably overnight) to firm up. Serve with additional topping ingredients.



Salted Maple-Bacon Ice Cream

It wouldn’t be summer without ice cream, and it wouldn’t be Comfort du Jour without some unexpected flavor twists. One of the biggest reasons I love my ice cream machine is that I can choose my own flavors rather than relying on the same old varieties you find everywhere else. Using my easy formula for custard ice cream base, I’ve whipped two of my all-time favorite flavors into one frosty treat.

I’ve swapped out sugar in favor of maple syrup, and paired it with the delicious, smoky flavor of real bacon! These two flavors are like an old married couple, finishing each other’s sentences and picking up each other’s slack. When the maple syrup starts to feel too sweet, here comes the salty, savory bacon to keep it in check. And because we get a little crazy at our house about the sweet-salty combination of maple and bacon, I’ve garnished the ice cream with additional bacon, glazed with maple syrup. I’ll share that, too.

It’s National Ice Cream Day, smack in the middle of National Ice Cream Month, and I am on it!

I know you want some.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/3 cup maple sugar* (see notes)

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup dark maple syrup

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

4 thin slices uncured maple bacon, cooked until crispy, then broken into bits*

1 Tbsp. bourbon (optional but recommended for improved texture)


*Notes

Double maple means double tasty!

My maple sugar is sourced from the same place I order my syrup, Big Tree Maple in Lakewood, N.Y., which is just up the road from where I grew up. Maple sugar is not as easy to find in local stores as maple syrup, but you will be happy to know that Big Tree offers shipping on its products. You could also substitute with caster sugar (sometimes called “superfine” sugar) or simply increase the maple syrup to a total of 3/4 cup.

All 4 pieces of bacon are intended for mixing into the ice cream. Cook a few extra slices of bacon if you want to make the maple-glazed candied bacon garnish. And, trust me, you want to! 😉


Instructions


  1. In a stand mixer or bowl with hand mixer, whip egg yolks until they get frothy and increase in volume. Gradually add maple sugar, whipping constantly and stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  2. Heat milk and cream until hot and steaming but not boiling. Reduce the heat to very low (or turn it off) at this point, so that the milk mixture doesn’t curdle. Measure out about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture. Stream it slowly into the egg yolk mixture while running the mixer. Use a lower speed on the mixer to avoid whipping too much air into the cream mixture.
  3. Transfer the tempered yolk mixture back to the saucepan with the remaining milk-cream mixture and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until custard is smooth and coats the back of the spoon. Remove from heat. Stir in kosher salt until dissolved.
  4. Whisk in maple syrup, stirring thoroughly to combine. Lay plastic film directly onto the surface of the custard to prevent condensation. Cover the bowl with additional film or lid and refrigerate several hours to overnight.

Time to freeze the ice cream!

  1. Before freezing, remove plastic film and stir mixture to reincorporate any ingredients that may have settled to the bottom. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. In the last few minutes of churning, add bacon crumbles to the ice cream.
  3. Mix in a tablespoon of bourbon in the final minute. The alcohol will just barely flavor the ice cream, but the real benefit will be improved texture for scooping directly from the freezer.


Bonus recipe – Candied Maple Bacon

2 to 3 thin strips uncured maple bacon

2 Tbsp. maple syrup

Cook bacon in the 350°F oven on a parchment-lined baking sheet. When bacon is crisp, transfer to a paper towel and replace parchment paper. Lightly brush maple syrup onto each side of the bacon slices, and return it to the oven for a few minutes. Repeat two or three more times, until syrup is hardened and bacon looks like candy. Cool completely and wrap loosely in foil or parchment. Garnish ice cream portions with a piece of the bacon.



You may be wondering if I’m a paid endorser for the brands and products I spotlight on Comfort du Jour, and the answer is “no.” I do not receive money or merchandise for my recommendations, and what that means for you is that you can count on me to give an honest opinion. If something changes, I will update my disclosures. Either way, you can still count on me to be honest in my recommendations, as I will only stand behind services and products I believe in. Fair enough? 😀

Terrie


Homemade Pistachio Ice Cream

When our new kitchen is installed this fall, organization will be priority one. My husband, Les, and I are not doing all this planning and spending only to fall into the same jumbled mess of stuff we started with. To that point, every gadget we own is going to be catching a little side eye, as we make some hard, overdue decisions about what deserves to stay in our beautiful new prime real estate and what must go.

One small electric that has already passed muster in my mind is my Cuisinart ice cream maker. This device gets plenty of action at our house, and I have no complaints about it whatsoever. It’s easy to use, requires no hand-cranking effort or rock salt, and it quickly churns out up to two quarts of ice cream at a time. I purchased it several years ago (when I lived in a different kitchen) and it was one of the first things I laid claim to when I struck out on my own. I have made some delicious, memorable ice creams with this machine, and it technically does not fall into the single-purpose category because I can also use it to make sorbets and fruity wine slushies. How could I not love that, especially during summer?

Check out these fun ice cream flavors I churned out in summer of 2020:

July is one of my favorite months, not only because I will celebrate my birthday in the late part of the month, but also because it happens to be National Ice Cream Month! For your summer refreshment pleasure, I’ll be sharing several delicious ice cream recipes in the coming weeks. If you enjoy ice cream (especially if you like unexpected flavor combinations), I urge you to make a small, one-time investment in an ice cream machine. Sure, there are about a million “no-churn” recipes for ice cream on Pinterest and other internet sites, but if you look closely at some of those recipes, they often depend on numerous extra steps to produce the texture you expect in an ice cream, including setting a timer to pull it out of the freezer every couple of hours to stir it up. I’d rather just use an ice cream maker and be done with it.

The first ice cream for 2021 is pistachio, and though this was my first time making this particular flavor, it was simple because it begins with my “basic” formula for custard-based ice cream, which is as follows:

  • 1 1/2 cups each of heavy cream and whole milk
  • 3/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 3 free-range egg yolks

The cream and milk are heated together with half of the sugar, and the egg yolks are whipped with the rest of it. When the cream mixture is hot enough, I whisk it into the whipped yolks to temper them, then it all goes back into the pot to cook until custardy. From that point, you can flavor it up as you like, chill it and then churn it in the ice cream machine. Homemade ice cream has a somewhat shorter shelf life than store-bought because it doesn’t have any weird, chemistry-lab ingredients. But here’s the fun flip side—you don’t need homemade ice cream to have a long shelf life because it’s usually gobbled up within a few days anyway!


To infuse this ice cream with the unique flavor of pistachio, I toasted the pistachios briefly, pulsed them in the food processor, and then infused their flavor into the cream mixture. I double-strained the mixture to remove the gritty bits of pistachio before tempering the eggs, but next time I will use cheesecloth to simplify that step. At the end of the freeze-churn stage, I added roasted pieces of pistachio for extra flavor and texture. A little touch of amaretto churned in during the final minute gave the ice cream a perfectly scoopable consistency for serving, straight from the freezer.


Ingredients

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

3/4 cup organic cane sugar, divided

3 egg yolks

1 cup raw, unsalted pistachio meats, divided

1/2 tsp. real vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. pure almond extract

1 Tbsp. amaretto liqueur (optional at the end of churning, for improved texture)


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast the pistachio meats on a parchment-lined baking sheet for about 7 minutes, or until fragrant and toasty. Remove from oven and cool. Divide pistachios evenly, transferring half of them to a food processor bowl. Pulse a few times until the nuts are reduced to small bits, but not to the point of powder. Use a sharp knife to gently chop the remaining pistachios. Set them aside for mixing into the ice cream during freezing.
  2. Combine milk and cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add half the amount of sugar and whisk gently until sugar is dissolved. Add the pulverized pistachios to the milk mixture and simmer until the mixture is hot but not quite boiling. Remove from heat and let this stand for about 10 minutes. This will steep the pistachio flavor into the cream mixture.
  3. When steeping is finished (you will know because the cream mixture will have taken on a slightly chartreuse green color), pour the mixture through a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth to remove the nut solids. Clean out the saucepan and dry it. Return the strained cream mixture to the pan and heat over medium until it returns to the not-quite-boiling stage.
  4. While the cream mixture is heating, use a hand or stand mixer to whip the egg yolks until silky. Add the sugar, a little bit at a time, mixing well and stopping a couple of times to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Whip until the mixture is soft, light and lemon-colored.
  5. Measure out about 2 cups of the milk-cream mixture. Slowly pour it into the egg mixture, whisking or beating with electric mixer the entire time. This step will temper the eggs, gradually cooking them without scrambling or breaking them.
  6. Pour the egg mixture back into the remaining milk-cream mixture and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the custard begins to slightly thicken and coats the back of your spoon.
  7. Remove from heat immediately. Stir in vanilla and almond extracts. Lay a film of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard to prevent condensation from forming. Cover the entire bowl with a lid or additional plastic wrap. Refrigerate several hours or overnight until fully chilled.
  8. When you’re ready to freeze the ice cream, give the cream mixture a good stirring to minimize any settling that has occurred in the fridge. Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. My Cuisinart takes about 20 minutes. Sift the reserved pistachio nuts in a mesh strainer to remove any powdery crumbs from chopping them. Add them to the ice cream machine only for the last few minutes. Add amaretto (optional, but recommended) for the final minute of mixing. You will not taste the alcohol, but its addition ensures easy scooping of the ice cream straight from the freezer. If you avoid alcohol, or if you will be serving children, skip it and simply remove the ice cream from the freezer about 15 minutes ahead of serving.

Great way to start the summer!