Honey-Orange-Pistachio Ice Cream

Updated February 23, 2016

Sugared pistachios lend a savory crunch to this ambrosial honey-and orange-scented ice cream. A splash of orange liqueur softens the texture to create a creamy consistency for easy scooping directly from the freezer. Put a dollop over fresh sliced peaches or nectarines and enjoy with crisp biscotti.



Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionFamily Get-together, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursedessert

Dietary Considerationgluten-free, peanut free

Equipmentice cream maker


Taste and Texturecreamy, crunchy, fruity, nutty, savory, sweet, winey

Type of Dishice cream


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup (3 ounces) pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 2 cups half and half or milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1 cup heavy or whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons Cointreau, Grand Marnier, or other orange liqueur (optional)


Prepare a large bowl or pan of ice water.

In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the nuts, and sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons sugar. Cook, stirring continuously; until the nuts are toasted and caramelized, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, mash the zest with the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar to release the oils. In the top of a double boiler, heat the half-and-half over simmering water until steaming.

In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks until blended, then whisk in the honey and sugared zest. Whisk in about half of the hot half-and-half and pour the yolk mixture into the pan of half-and-half .

Stir and cook over simmering water until the custard coats the back of a silicone spatula or spoon, about 10 minutes.

Immediately place the custard pan in the ice bath and stir the custard occasionally until it cools to room temperature. Transfer to a container and stir in the cream. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 3 hours.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

When the ice cream is almost frozen, spoon in the liqueur, if desired, and churn until blended in, about 1 minute more. Add the nuts and churn until blended in, about 15 seconds more.

Transfer to a container, cover, and freeze until firm, about 2 hours



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