On the road between Alamogordo and Tularosa, New Mexico, stands the world’s largest pistachio. It’s one of those roadside oddities devised and created to get people to just pull over to look, then hopefully come on inside and sample some treats and buy some bags of pistachios.
McGinn’s PistachioLand Pistachio Tree Ranch has more than just a giant nut, though. You can hop on a quick guided tour of the pistachio farms for a few bucks, sample about 20 different kinds of brittle (pistachio and otherwise), and browse the large store for pistachios, jellies, honeys, gift baskets, cookbooks, coffees, candies, and more.
My favorite honey in the universe comes from here too… it’s the Prickly Pear Honey, and it tastes just like fruit punch.
So when a recent road trip took us down the Tulie Road, heading toward Las Cruces, we stopped at the Giant Pistachio for some snacks and a tour. I ended up with the aforementioned prickly pear honey (which is sadly long gone at the time of the writing of this post), plus a bag of green chile pistachios and a bag of red chile pistachios.
And that is why I’m making this ice cream. I love pistachio ice cream, but wanted to try it with the red chile pistachios, and figured red chile and chocolate is kind of a THING, so there’s no way this won’t be great.
On to the ice cream!
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cup milk
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 4 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup McGinn’s Red Chile Pistachios, shelled and chopped into approx halves
- 1/4 cup McGinn’s Red Chile Pistachios, shelled and chopped very fine
- In a medium saucepan, combine cream, milk, and cocoa powder. Simmer, whisking to combine. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips. Whisk until melted.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks for a couple of minutes until they turn pale.
- Add 1/2 cup of the milk mixture to the egg mixture, whisking to temper the eggs (so they don’t cook). Repeat 3-4 more times, 1/2 cup at a time, then return this mixture to the saucepan and stir to combine with the remaining milk mixture.
- Add FINE chopped pistachios, return the saucepan to low-medium heat, and bring back just to a simmer. Simmer and stir a couple of minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly and will coat the back of a spoon.
- Remove pan from heat. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a bowl, pressing through the sieve with a rubber spatula to save as much of the liquid as possible.
- Place this bowl in an ice bath for a few minutes to stop the cooking process, then cover the bowl and refrigerate for several hours, until completely cooled.
- Freeze the ice cream in your ice cream maker according to your maker’s directions. In the last few minutes of freezing (when you’ve reached soft serve consistency), add the 1/2 cup chopped pistachios and allow to mix in.
- Enjoy ice cream now for soft serve, or freeze overnight in a freezable container for a harder/scoopable consistency.