Pistachio Ice Cream Dessert just screams Spring!
You will enjoy this beautiful, refreshing dessert all spring and summer long. It’s one of my favorite desserts for entertaining. It’s super easy to make and can be made up days ahead of time.
I absolutely love everything about this dessert. From the buttery salty crust, pistachio flavor, creamy vanilla ice cream to the incredibly delicious toppings…..freshly whipped cream, chopped pistachio nuts and loads of chocolate-covered toffee candy bars! One of my favorite candies! Yum! Yum!
With all that combined, you have a perfect sweet & salty, creamy, crunchy amazing dessert on your hands.
This recipe was given to me from a dear and lovely friend, Wanda, who lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida. I loved it so much that I put it in my cookbook. I think of her every time I make it, and it also reminds me of beautiful emerald green color of the Gulf of Mexico. In my cookbook, Deliciously Southern, I even named it Gulf Coast Pistachio Dessert.
This recipe starts out with a Ritz’s Cracker crust which is something completely different. Most desserts of this kind have a graham cracker or Oreo crust, but the salty, buttery flavor of the crackers compliments all the other flavors so well. When you taste it, I know that you will agree too. Of course, you could try it with graham crackers or the Oreo crust too.
To make the crust, you’ll need two cups of crushed Ritz crackers and 1 stick of melted butter. Mix all together and press the crumb mixture into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and bake for about 6 to 7 minutes.
While the crust is cooling, In a large bowl, whisk together ¾ cups of cold milk with a 3-ounce package of pistachio pudding mix. I prefer to use whole milk. The higher fat content really makes a difference in the taste. It’s much richer! Hey, we aren’t counting calories in this dessert so we might as well make it the best we can. Agree?
Next, gently fold the softened vanilla ice cream into the pistachio pudding. Once combined, pour the pistachio ice cream over the cooled crust. Cover and freeze for at least 2 hours or until firm.
For the topping, I used whipped heavy whipping cream. To me,
there is nothing as good as freshly whipped sweetened whipped cream, but you can use a frozen whipped topping as well. Don’t let whipping heavy cream intimate you. It really is easy to do. I’ll include how make the fresh whipped cream in the recipe. I added chopped pistachio nuts to the topping this time and what a great decision that was! It added even more pistachio flavor and a more crunch too.
Now, for my favorite part, the Heath bars! These chocolate-covered toffee candy bars are the final finishing chocolatey crunchy touch. I like to crumble lots on top. You can’t get enough of them. That’s it!
This fabulous frozen dessert is a cool, refreshing treat with a delicious pistachio flavor that’s topped with whipped cream, chopped pistachio nuts and chocolate-covered toffee candy bars!
- 2 cups crushed round buttery crackers, such as Ritz’s
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- ¾ cup cold milk, whole milk
- 1 (3.4-ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix
- 1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream or (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping (thawed if using frozen whipped topping) or the real cream in the can works too
- ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar, only if using heavy whipping cream
- 1 (12-ounce) bag miniature milk chocolate-covered English toffee bars, (Heath Bars), chopped into small pieces
- ½ cup chopped pistachios (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press into an ungreased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Bake for 6 to 7 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool completely.
- In a large bowl, whisk together milk and pudding for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft set.
- Fold in softened ice cream. Stir until pudding mixture is completely incorporated. Pour over cooled crust. Cover and freeze for 2 hours or until firm.
- After ice cream mixture has firmed up, spread with whipped cream or serve each individual slice with a generous dollop of whipped cream and top with chopped pistachio nuts and candy pieces.
- To make the fresh whipped cream, pour 2 cups of the heavy whipping cream into chilled mixing bowl (NOTE: a cold chilled bowl and mixing beaters helps make the whipping cream whip up faster.) Beat on high speed until cream starts to thicken. While beating, slowly add confectioners’ sugar and continue beating on high speed until soft peaks form and cream is thick. (NOTE: be careful not to over beat or cream will go flat.)
Do ahead/Freeze Tip: This dessert will freeze up to 2 months.