Dried Apricot-Pistachio Ice Cream

I didn’t realize when I zeroed in on this recipe that it was yet another ice cream recipe with alcohol in it. Two weeks in a row of boozy ice cream, look out! My apologies. Sort of. I definitely can’t apologize for this ice cream though. Because it’s amazing. It’s certainly not your run-of-the-mill vanilla with mix-ins. Steeping the dried apricot in white wine adds such a tremendous depth of flavor that anyone who eats it will be all, “whoa! what is that that I taste?” I love, love, love the combination of dried fruit and nuts, most specifically dried apricots and pistachios. The flavors go so nicely together, and I immediately knew this ice cream would be a winner.

An added bonus of this recipe is that it doesn’t require the traditional egg yolk custard-making that most other ice cream recipes use. Instead, after the apricots steep in the wine, you just throw everything in the blender, give it a whirl, and then chill the mixture before running it through the ice cream maker. When you’re almost done churning you toss in the pistachios, and voila! One of the easiest ice cream recipes ever! I’ve noticed that some ice creams made without egg yolks can get hard in the freezer, and not have that velvety texture that makes homemade ice cream so luxurious, but the alcohol content from the wine keeps this ice cream from getting too cold, and helps maintain that nice soft texture.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I have!

Two years ago: Cookies and Cream Oreo Cake
Three years ago: Basic Pizza Dough

Dried Apricot-Pistachio Ice Cream

Yield: 3 cups

Prep Time: 15 minutes (active), 1 hour (inactive), 8 hours (chill time)

Cook Time: 20 minutes (churn time)

Total Time: 35 minutes


5 ounces dried apricots, quartered
¾ cup white wine, dry or sweet
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups half-and-half
A few drops of lemon juice
½ cup shelled pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped


1. In a small saucepan, warm the apricot pieces in the wine. Simmer for 5 minutes, cover, remove from the heat, and let stand for 1 hour.

2. Puree the apricot and wine mixture with the sugar, half-and-half, and lemon juice in a blender until smooth.

3. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. During the last few minutes of churning, add the chopped pistachio nuts.

(Recipe adapted from The Perfect Scoop)


34 Responses to “Dried Apricot-Pistachio Ice Cream”

  1. Heather (Heather's Dish) on June 23, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    can you believe i JUST now tried pistachios for the first time – and i’m in love! i can only imagine it would be amazing with sweet dried apricots!


  2. Katrina on June 24, 2011 at 12:35 am

    This is lovely! Ive never had aprticot in ice cream! Yum!


  3. Sasha on June 24, 2011 at 3:56 am

    I have been seriously tempted lately to buy an ice cream maker with all these amazing recipes going round but i tihnk this one has given me the final push needed! It sounds so uniquely yummy and the fact it doesnt use egg yolks is a massive plus in my opinion. Love the flavour combo, will definitely be the first i try out if/WHEN i get the chance 🙂


  4. Penny Wolf on June 24, 2011 at 7:16 am

    You need to open your own little cafe. I’m serious!


  5. Amanda on June 24, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Looks delicious!


  6. Lauren at Keep It Sweet on June 24, 2011 at 8:10 am

    I never would have thought to put those flavors in ice cream but now I find myself craving a big bowl of it! No apologies for ice cream posts, love them!


  7. Dalia on June 24, 2011 at 8:56 am

    HI, Can you steep the apricots in something non alcholic such as maybe apple juice?


    • Michelle on June 24th, 2011 at 12:19 pm

      Hi Dalia, You could try the juice, sparkling cider might be a good substitute as well. Keep in mind the alcohol content keeps the ice cream from freezing completely hard, so yours might be a little harder/icier.


  8. Anna on June 24, 2011 at 9:02 am

    This looks delicious and interesting:)


  9. Dalia on June 24, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Also, did you use salted or unsalted pistachio’s? Thanks!


    • Michelle on June 24th, 2011 at 12:20 pm

      I used salted. I buy a large bag from Sam’s Club of pistachios that are already shelled (saves so much time and my thumbs!).


  10. Ann on June 24, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Wow – I LOVE the idea of dried apricots and pistachios! Dried apricots are one of those under used ingredients and they are SO good in recipes! Another winner!


  11. Rodzilla on June 24, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Wow, I saw a few inventive Jeni’s ice creams posted yesterday – but this ranks right up there with them.


  12. The Café Sucré Farine on June 24, 2011 at 9:19 am

    What a unique, delicious sounding ice cream, love the color too! I also think it would be fabulous with a drizzle of a deep dark caramel sauce, mmmmmm!


  13. Molly on June 24, 2011 at 9:37 am

    I’ve found myself adding pistachios to ice cream recently, but the addition of dried fruit sounds absolutely terrific. Can’t wait to give this one a shot.


  14. Maria on June 24, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Great ice cream flavor!


  15. Lori @ RecipeGirl on June 24, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Perfect for the first week of summer!


  16. Emily Malloy @Cleanliness on June 24, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Go on! Get it girl!!!!



  17. Jenny Flake on June 24, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Your ice creams always look so good! What a great flavor combo!


  18. Dalia on June 24, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Thanks so much! I will try it with white grape juice and see what happens and let you know 🙂


  19. Caryn on June 24, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Does it work well with fat free half and half?


    • Michelle on June 24th, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      Hmm I personally would be hesitant to use fat free just because you might get into some texture issues – the ice cream might end up harder and icier than if you used full-fat. If you don’t mind that, then you could go ahead and give it a try.


  20. Sheila on June 24, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    This looks so good!! I can’t wait to give it a try


  21. Tracy on June 24, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Sounds perfectly delicious; I love boozy ice creams!!


  22. Lindsey on June 24, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    That looks amazing. Apricots and pistachios are used together a lot in Middle Eastern cooking and I love the combination. I never thought to put them together in an ice cream. Great idea!


  23. Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking on June 24, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    It looks delicious! I never would have thought of putting the two together and in ice cream!


  24. Cookin' Canuck on June 25, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    No need to apologize for the boozy ice creams. Bring ’em on! Pistachios and apricots sound like a great flavor combination.


  25. misbah on June 26, 2011 at 11:14 am

    I love pistacio in ice cream, but never had apricots. sounds delcious.


  26. Frank @ Hearing Aid Info on June 26, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Looks great, I love pistachio ice cream. I can’t wait to give it a try with apricots.


  27. Ad K. on June 27, 2011 at 12:22 am

    I am in a swoon over this ice cream! Two of my favorite foods in an ice cream – I can hardly believe it. I have put off replacing my ice cream maker but now I have no choice – I must get one this week and make this! Your photos are remarkable!


  28. Sandra on June 27, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Wow, Wow, Wow, this is sweet and definitely sinful. Did I say Wow?


  29. Marelize on June 28, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Lovely! My family and I just moved to Las Vegas and an ice cream machine is going to be a must. I love this recipe and can just imagine how good it will be. Yum!


  30. TF on June 28, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    while this is totally not my speed flavor-wise, a friend of mine made me make it for her in lactose free. so far i’ve made the base and modified as follows:

    simmered 5 oz of apricots covered for 20 min in white cooking wine, a splash of white balsamic vinegar, and half a cup of sugar. let stand covered for 45 min.

    added 1 cup of whole-milk plain yogurt and 2 cups of whole-milk lactaid to the blender and pureed with another quarter-cup of sugar (less would have worked also). added the apricots and pureed until completely smooth (no flecks!). decided it wasn’t tangy enough and added one ice-cube of fresh lemon juice and a few shakes of citric acid. then decided the apricot was too muted and added the rest of the 8-oz package, without steeping, and pureed until smooth. but i like my fruit ice creams and sorbets really bright and really tangy.

    tomorrow i freeze it. and shell pistachios.

    PS- if you simmer the wine, the alcohol evaporates. it’s the sugar that keeps the mix from freezing hard.


  31. sara at cook with sara on August 17, 2011 at 10:09 am

    I made this and posted on my blog today with a link back here. DELICIOUS! Loved it. What a great, and different, take on ice cream! Thanks!


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