From the pistachio custard and cherry ice cream to the fudgy chocolate base, this ice cream is an Italian classic that is sure to please lots of palates. Most people are probably more familiar with its sister ice cream trifecta, Neapolitan ice cream. Spumoni also combines three flavors of ice cream, but instead of strawberry and vanilla, it features cherry and pistachio.
It’s a little more unique and definitely not something you will find in every grocery freezer. Spumoni is a labor of love to make at home, but the quality can't be beaten. We’ve made the recipe a little easier for you by incorporating a store-bought chocolate ice cream and a semi-homemade cherry ice cream. There’s no replacing the decadent pistachio frozen custard, so that's best made from scratch…trust us, it’s worth it!
You’ll love this ice cream if you love fruit, chocolate, and nut combos like chocolate-covered cherries. It’s a decadent dessert for a dinner party, but you can also turn them into ice cream sandwiches with some homemade cookies as a frosty summertime treat for kids.
- For the Pistachio Frozen Custard:
- 3 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 cup pistachios (coarsely chopped)
- For the Cherry Ice Cream:
- 3/4 cup cherries (pitted and halved)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
- 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
- For the Chocolate Ice Cream:
- 1/3 gallon chocolate ice cream
- For the Garnish:
- Chocolate bar (shaved)
- Pistachios (coarsely chopped)
Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this ice cream is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.
Make the Pistachio Custard
Gather the ingredients.
Beat the egg yolks in a bowl for 2 to 3 minutes, until pale and thickened.
Heat the heavy cream, whole milk, sugar, and salt in a saucepan on very low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Do not let this mixture come to a boil.
Temper the eggs by slowly drizzling the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking continuously until all of it is incorporated.
Transfer that mixture back to the saucepan and cook on medium-low heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pan until the custard is thick and coats the back of your spoon thickly.
Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve. Place the bowl in the refrigerator immediately and allow it to cool.
Transfer it to a plastic storage bag. Get all of the air out of the bag and seal it tightly. Lay it flat in the freezer and freeze until solid. While the pistachio custard is freezing, take the vanilla ice cream out and allow it to soften slightly.
Prepare the Cherry Ice Cream
Gather the ingredients.
Place the cherries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a saucepan. Heat on high, stirring frequently until the cherries have softened and the mixture has thickened. Allow it to cool completely.
Fold it into the softened ice cream. Put it back in the freezer in a covered container until you are ready to assemble.
Assemble the Spumoni
Place the custard and the pistachios in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth and thick.
Gather the chocolate ice cream and the chocolate bar for the chocolate shavings.
Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Scoop balls of the pistachio, cherry, and chocolate ice creams in an alternating pattern into the pan. Continue layering until you have used up all of the ice creams.
Press the top down with some parchment paper until it is packed tightly. Cover it with plastic wrap and place it back in the freezer until frozen, around 1 to 2 hours.
Lift the parchment paper out of the loaf pan and cut the loaf into bars. You can also just scoop it out of the pan.
Serve immediately topped with crushed pistachios and shaved chocolate. You can also reserve some of the cherry sauce from the cherry ice cream to place on top!