Just like there are seasons for fresh produce, sometimes friendships have their seasons too. This pistachio frozen yogurt was made and enjoyed to celebrate a season of friendship with two dear friends who are moving.
Living in Salt Lake, we have had lots of our close friends move away. I’m not sure what it is about this city but it seems as though it is really transient for young out-of-state couples. We’ve made some amazing life-long friends in 1-2 year spans before they’ve gone back ‘home’. It seems to come in waves and we’re in one of those waves right now.
While it’s always sad making a good friend then having them move away, one thing I’ve learned is to invest and enjoy in the relationship while I can. It’s never a waste of time or energy to make a friend, even if just for a season. I’ve learned from, laughed with, and thoroughly enjoyed each friendship that has come my way while I’ve lived in Salt Lake. And it seems like just when a friend moves away God brings about a new season and a new friend. Plus, we have so many wonderful places to visit across the country now!
I made this frozen yogurt along with the ginger vanilla bean frozen yogurt to enjoy with a group of my girl friends as we were saying our goodbyes to our two friends Christie and Christa. The pistachio flavor was especially for my friend Christie, who I’ve enjoyed cooking many meals and treats with over the last year. She is a pastry chef, so we just had a ball cooking, talking food, and eating together. I hoped to send her off well with a special taste and memory of our friendship.
This recipe was adapted from Jeni’s Ice Creams‘ Frozen Yogurt Base Recipe.
Creamy pistachio frozen yogurt.
- 1 quart plain low fat yogurt
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cream cheese
- 1/2 cup heavy cream 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios (plus 1/4 cup extra if you want to add some whole to your ice cream)
- Fit two layers of cheese cloth over a medium sized bowl (or a sieve lined with cheesecloth). I secured the cheese cloth by putting a rubber band around the edge of the bowl, making sure there was room in between the cheesecloth and the bottom of the bowl for yogurt to drain. Pour the yogurt into the lined bowl cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2-8 hours to drain. Discard the liquid* (or save for smoothies), and measure out 1 1/4 cups of the strained yogurt*; set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spread the pistachios out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until fragrant and starting to brown. Remove from oven and pulverize in a food processor until pistachios become a smooth paste.
- Mix about 3 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.
- Whisk the softened or room temp cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth. Mix in the pistachio paste with the cream cheese until smooth.
- Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
- Combine the remaining milk with the cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan.
- Bring to a boil of medium high heat and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture.
- Return the mixture to a boil over medium hight heat and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the pistachio/cream cheese mixture until smooth. Add the 1 1/4 cup of strained yogurt and blend well.
- Pour the yogurt mixture into a 1 gallon ziplock freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
- Pour the frozen yogurt into your ice cream maker and spin until thick and creamy (about 20-30 minutes depending on your machine).
- Pack the frozen yogurt into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment paper directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, about 4 hours.
You can strain the yogurt a day in advance. Also, the extra strained yogurt can be used as labneh (yogurt cheese), or as a replacement to sour cream. The liquid that is strained from the yogurt can be used in smoothies.