Blistered Shishito Pepper Ice Cream

I recently had an amazing meal at Aviary in Austin, where the waiter recommended their pasta featuring blistered shishito ricotta. It was a subtle but unique twist on a milk product–something I’m always going for in my ice cream flavors–so I decided to recreate it in the form of an ice cream.

Shishito peppers blistering on a cast iron skillet

Blistering shishitos sounds super fancy, but it’s ridiculously simple: cover peppers in oil and let them sit for 30 seconds in a cast iron skillet on high. Flip. Done.

Top them with some flaky sea salt for a pop of flavor and satisfying texture.

Shishito Peppers blistered and covered with flaky sea salt lined up in a row on a blue and cream ceramic plate

Then, you eat them.

…OR you blend them into your sugar and add that sugar mix to your ice cream base like normal.


Perfectly weird. Weirdly simple.


  • 2 ounces shishito peppers
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil (not exact)
  • a few pinches of flaky sea salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup milk powder
  • 4 egg yolks


  1. Set a cast iron skillet over high heat. Dip the peppers into the oil to coat (or use a pastry brush to evenly apply the oil). Set the peppers into the skillet and let them blister on one side (only about 30 seconds), and flip with tongs to blister on the other side. Take the peppers off the heat and sprinkle with sea salt. Remove the ends of the peppers and place in a food processor with the sugar. Blend to combine evenly.
  2. Heat the milk, cream, peppery sugar mix, and milk powder over low heat and stir until the sugar and powder has dissolved. There will still be chunks of pepper, but we’ll strain them out later.
  3. Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl, and combine them into the milk mixture (making sure not to scramble the yolks). Cook, stirring occasionally, until it reaches between 74-78 degrees C on a candy thermometer.
  4. Pour the ice cream base into a bowl with lid or Tupperware, and place it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
  5. Strain out the pepper fragments and any thick custard chunks. Add the smooth base to your ice cream maker and churn it according to the maker’s instructions. When it’s ready, place the ice cream in the freezer for a few hours or overnight to solidify.
  6. Scoop and enjoy!