Orange Honey Ice Cream with Pistachio

© 2012

July is National Ice Cream Month. So, in honor of National Ice Cream Month I made this nice little treat and it sure is delicious.

Have you ever wondered who makes up National whatever months? So have I and the answer isn’t quite clear. As I understand it, each advertising collective has its own month—e.g., January is National Beef Month, February is National Potato Lover’s Month, March is National Peanut Month, etc. But June is National Dairy Month, so how is it that we then have National Ice Cream Month in July? I’m sure there are tremendous political pressures in DC with inherent hounding of our busy reps by the various ice cream special interest groups. But somehow, some way, these lobbyists always come through in the end. That’s why in 1984 Ronal Reagan (the “Jelly Belly President”) made July National Ice Cream Month. Not only did he succumb to tremendous political pressure to make July National Ice Cream Month, but he went even further and designated the third Sunday of July National Ice Cream Day. So today is that feted day whereby all Americans are to go to their local ice cream parlor and partake of that deliciously creamy, cool comestible, or alternatively crank up the old ice cream maker and make your own. So in honor of the day and month, we urge you to try this delicious treat. It is not too sweet, has a nice but not overpowering flavor of orange while allowing the honey flavor to come through with a nice little crunch of caramelized pistachio. It’s a very delightful treat meant to cool you off in the heat. We hope you give this one a try.


  • 1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
  • 2/3 cup pistachios, unsalted
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 1 cups whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup orange blossom honey (if you can find it; if not use clover honey)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier


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.

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In a large bowl, mash the zest with the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar to release the oils.

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In a medium size sauce pot, heat the cream/milk mix over medium heat until just under boiling.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks until blended and add to the sugared zest,

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Now, whisk in the honey.

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Next, temper the egg yolk custard mix by whisking in about 1 cup of the heated dairy.

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Now, pour the tempered yolk mixture into the hot dairy mix and add a pinch of salt.

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Stirring constantly, cook over medium low heat until the custard coats the back of a silicone spatula or spoon, about 8 – 10 minutes. Some people tell you to use a double boiler. If you are more comfortable with a double boiler, use it but it is not necessary.

Immediately place the custard pan in the ice bath and stir the custard occasionally until it cools to room temperature.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When the ice cream is almost frozen, spoon in the Grand Marneir and churn until blended and once again somewhat stiff, about 5 minutes more. The Grand Marnier not only adds a nice depth of flavor but the alcohol in the Grand Marnier prevents the ice cream from becoming brick hard in the freezer. This results in a silky smooth, servable ice cream.

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Add the pistachios and continue to blend 30 seconds to incorporate. Transfer to a container, cover, and freeze until firm, about 2 hours.

Serve & Enjoy!

© 2012

10 thoughts on “Orange Honey Ice Cream with Pistachio”

  1. Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you, mille mercis, je t’adore. I’m making this as soon as I possibly can.

    1. You are more than welcome, welcome, welcome. 😀 I’m glad you like the recipe so much that it got you excited enough to make it. Let me know what you think. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

      1. I’m super excited about it, but nervous about the custard. The last time I tried a custard ice cream, I ended up cooking the eggs too soon and you could taste it (not enjoyable). Any tips?

        1. The trick to the custard is in tempering the eggs. Make sure you slowly pour 1 cup to 2 cups of the hot dairy into the eggs while stirring vigorously. Then, while whisking the dairy, pour the egg yolk mixture back into the dairy. Then, while whisking constantly over medium low heat, cook the custard until it coats the back of a spoon. This does not mean a real thick consistency but one that when you wipe your finger on the back of the spoon, it leaves a noticeable trail on the back of the spoon.

  2. I’m always on the look out for new ice cream recipes and today’s couldn’t be more timely. I was at a ball game with 4 of my tasters and they all wanted to know when the ice cream “factory” was going to start back into production. 🙂

    1. Thanks John. If the tasters are under 20, I’m not certain how well they will like the treat. It is very subtle with beautiful depth of flavor but exceptionally good. Our oldest son, 32, liked it but I’m not too sure the others (26, 24, 21 & 20) would like it at all. It would be similar to a subtle orange pralines & cream with honey notes. If you try it, let me know what you think.

  3. This looks super, I do love pistachios, and have been loving oranges for the past two weeks (I have a couple jars of agave and honey infused w/orange zest on standby.) Is there any chance goat milk, soy milk or almond milk could be used in place of moo juice?

    1. I have never tried it that way. Nonetheless, as I understand it, goat milk is naturally homogenized so a lot of the cream is already ‘infused’ in the milk which would result in a smooth and creamy ice cream. I don’t know about almond or soy milk.

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