Sicilian Pistachio Gelato recipe
Original Italian recipe for the delicious Pistachio Gelato

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Sicilian Pistachio Gelato recipe

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Adjust Servings:
375g/ 1½ cups whole milk
125g/½ cup Heavy Cream
30g/ 1oz. granulated sugar
30g/ 1oz. Corn Syrup
24g/ 3 tbsp. Corn Flour
pinch of salt
homemade pistachio paste">200g/ 7oz. homemade pistachio paste or store-bought one
1 tsp. Lemon Juice

Nutritional information

serving size
Total Fat

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  • Dairy
  • Gluten Free
  • Vegeterian




I had good memories from the Sicilian pistachio gelato and had a hard time finding an ice cream store that can make a good Italian gelato

The gelato is not as rich in fat as the ice cream and its texture is a bit less tender than what you’ve used to when getting a scoop at your favorite gelateria, however the flavor is just divine, it has a sharp and intense flavors that really make the difference.

Difference between gelato and ice cream

Let’s start off by saying that Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream, there is no other word for ice cream in Italian and in no way there is a difference in Italy between the terms.

Outside Italy, especially in France the ice cream makers would use different proportions and ingredients for their ice creams hence the main difference between the Italian gelato to the French/American ice cream, let’s go over some of the difference.

  • Gelato is lower in fat content, milk is the dominant ingredient with cream in lower proportions and lower amount of egg yolks, or no egg yolks at all.
  • Gelato is churned at a slower rate, mixing less air into the ice cream making it denser on one hand but more elastic on the other.
  • Because the texture is dense the serving temperature of gelato is a bit higher, this is how the contradiction between less air and less fat content can allow the gelato to be elastic.
  • Gelato will have intense flavors, there is less fat content like the cream and egg yolks which dim the flavors, this is why gelato is great with fruits, nuts and any flavor we would like to shine.

Pistachio Gelato

Making the Sicilian pistachio gelato

Due to the low fat content we would have to use a high amount of pistachio paste, now, this stuff is expensive so I wouldn’t recommend making this pistachio gelato with a store-bought paste, you can find a homemade pistachio paste recipe that is easy and cheap to make and will produce many pistachio gelato.

One of the important tips for gelato making is to cook the custard for a longer time than usual, in order to evaporate high water percentage hence reducing the chance of water crystallization when in the deep freeze.

Most of the home ice cream makers have only one speed for churning the ice cream, for gelato we need less air so the ice cream makers today offer another churning device that reduces the amount of air to the mixture, only by its shape which is a less aerodynamic than the ice cream one.

Pistachio Gelato


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20 minutes

making the gelato base

Mix half a cup of milk with the corn flour creating a slurry.
Set a medium saucepan on high heat, boil the remaining 1 cup of milk with the heavy cream, sugar, corn syrup and salt.
When the milk mixture comes into a simmer, reduce heat to low, add the corn flour slurry and mix gently until the custard thickens, for about 5-6 minutes.
Strain the custard to remove any lumps, cover and freeze for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.


churning the Gelato

Take the gelato base out of the fridge, mix in the pistachio paste and the lemon juice.
Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Best served immediately, or freeze for later use.


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