National Ice Cream Month, recipes
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Pistachio Gelato Con Brioche Recipe

This recipe for pistachio gelato and sweet, buttery brioche with the signature “tuppo” (bun on the head) was inspired by my recent trip to Sicily — I found it around every corner in Palermo, and a meal just wasn’t complete without it. Even though I tried many different flavors, I always came back to pistachio. Needless to say, I was still craving this dessert when I got back to the U.S. and knew I had to try my hand at making it…and this is the result!

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Gelato con Brioche

For the pistachio gelato:

Yields approximately 8 servings


  • 180-200 grams shelled pistachios
  • 500 milliliters whole milk
  • 500 milliliters heavy cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 150 grams sugar
  • 88 grams egg yolks (approximately 4 large yolks)


  1. Grind the pistachios in a food processor until finely ground, then set aside. Do not over grind — you’ll end up with nut butter!
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 1/4 cup of sugar.
  3. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, cream, 1/2 cup of sugar and pinch of salt on medium-low, stirring occasionally.
  4. When the mixture begins to simmer, ladle about 1/2 cup into the egg yolks and sugar while whisking constantly.
  5. Slowly pour the remaining milk and cream mixture into the egg yolks, stirring constantly.
  6. Add in ground pistachios and return to saucepan.
  7. Stir the mixture until it reaches 170-170F, making sure to scrape the bottom as you stir.
  8. Take the mixture off the heat and strain into a large bowl through a sieve, extracting as much of the liquid from the ground nuts. Add about half of the nuts back into the mixture to give your gelato some crunch!
  9. Stir in the the vanilla extract.
  10. Place the mixture over a bowl of ice, stirring occasionally until it reaches room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight before churning in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. I churn mine for about 15 minutes.

For the brioche:

Yields approximately 11-12 servings


  • 180 milliters warm water (not above 115F)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active yeast (1 envelope) + 1 tablespoon sugar to activate yeast
  • 70 grams sugar
  • 190 grams all-purpose flour
  • 358 grams 00 flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 75 grams unsalted butter, melted
  • 114 grams eggs (2 eggs)
  • 1 extra egg for egg wash
  • 3 teaspoons honey


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add warm water, 1 tablespoon sugar, and active yeast. Let the mixture sit for approximately 5 minutes.
  2. After the yeast mixture has begun to froth and look bubbly, add the all-purpose flour, 00 flour, sugar, salt, 2 eggs, and honey. Mix on low using the paddle attachment for about 1 minute until just combined.
  3. Switch to the dough hook and knead until the mixture comes together, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add the melted butter to the dough. Don’t worry if the mixture separates at this stage. Knead for another 6-7 minutes on low and it will come together. At this point, dough should be soft, elastic, and slightly sticky to the touch.
  5. Cover and let rise for 50 minutes to 1 hour depending on your kitchen temperature. It’s ready when a dent pressed into the dough remains.
  6. After the first rise, divide the dough into 90 gram balls. From each ball, break off 12 grams of dough and roll into a ball to form the tuppo.
  7. Place the larger balls of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Make a deep dent in each ball and nestle the tuppos into them. Making sure the dents are deep enough prevents tuppos from falling off during rising.
  8. Cover with a towel and let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until indentations in the dough sides remain. About 45 minutes to 1 hour into this second rise, preheat your oven to 350F.
  9. Mix the remaining 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Lightly brush each brioche bun with the egg wash.
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden.

To assemble:

  1. Take the gelato out of the freezer 10-15 minutes before serving.
  2. Cut brioche buns in half and slather on as much gelato as you dare!

Love this recipe? Check out this one for Earl Grey tea madeleines.

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