Vanilla-Almond Ice Cream with Cherries and Pistachios


F&W’s Justin Chapple doesn’t use an ice cream maker for this sweet and creamy custard-based ice cream. Slideshow:  More Ice Cream Recipes 

Vanilla-Almond Ice Cream with Cherries and Pistachios
Vanilla, almonds, pistachios and cherries could very well be ingredients in a granola you'd eat at breakfast. Here, they make up a stellar ice cream that tastes fresh and bright for the morning. Plus, F&W’s Justin Chapple doesn’t use an ice cream maker for this sweet and creamy custard-based ice cream. Photo: John Kernick
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
6 hrs 45 mins
1 quart


  • 6 large egg yolks

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

  • 3/4 cup fresh cherries, pitted and halved

  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped


  1. Set a medium bowl in a large bowl of ice water. In another medium bowl, beat the egg yolks until pale, 1 to 2 minutes.

  2. In a medium saucepan, whisk the cream with the milk, sugar, salt and the vanilla bean and seeds. Bring to a simmer, whisking, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Very gradually whisk half of the hot cream mixture into the beaten egg yolks in a thin stream, then whisk this mixture into the saucepan. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the custard is thick enough to lightly coat the back of the spoon, about 12 minutes; don’t let it boil.

  3. Strain the custard through a medium-mesh strainer into the bowl set in the ice water; discard the vanilla bean. Let the custard cool completely, stirring occasionally. Stir in the almond extract. Pour into a large resealable freezer bag and seal, pressing out the air. Lay the bag flat in the freezer and freeze until firm, at least 8 hours or overnight.

  4. Working quickly, in batches if necessary, transfer the frozen custard to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse at 5-second intervals until smooth. Transfer the custard to a chilled 9-by-4-inch metal loaf pan and fold in the cherries and pistachios. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 6 hours or overnight.

Make Ahead

The ice cream can be frozen for up to 1 week


Instead of cherries and pistachios, try folding in 1 cup of chopped chocolate-covered pretzels or chopped halvah.

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