Confession: I possibly have a slightly unhealthy obsession with all things Italian: the architecture, art, history, cities, countryside, food. Oh, the food! The Italians have perfected the pizza, and there’s no better comfort food than a big bowl of mushroom risotto. However, it’s the gelato that has really grabbed my heart. So when a friend challenged us to create a gelato recipe, I leapt at the chance.
Italian gelato uses a smaller proportion of cream and eggs to milk than ice cream. It’s traditionally churned more slowly, creating a denser product, and is served at a warmer temperature. This recipe for Chocolate-Hazelnut and Pistachio Gelato is the closest we have come to true Italian gelato. We started with a simple custard base, and then added Nutella and a pistachio paste for the flavor punch. It uses just a few pure, fresh ingredients to make a velvety smooth treat bursting with flavor. Delizioso!
- 4 cups whole milk
- 2 cups cream
- 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread, such as Nutella
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups shelled, unsalted pistachios
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- Combine milk, cream and 3/4 cup sugar in saucepan. Heat and stir until sugar dissolves.
- Combine yolks and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in mixer and beat for about 3 minutes, until yolks are pale yellow and smooth.
- Stir a small amount of warm milk mixture into yolks and blend. While stirring, slowly add the yolks into the saucepan with the milk mixture.
- Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until thickened and will coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
- Strain into a bowl, pressing with the back of a spoon to release as much liquid as possible. Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the custard and put in the refrigerator. Cool completely.
- Put cooled mixture into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.
- Serve immediately, while still soft. If using later, let sit for at least 10 to 15 minutes to soften.
- After straining the custard, stir in Nutella and vanilla until well-blended. Proceed as instructed.
- Combine pistachios and 1/2 cup sugar in blender and blend until mixture becomes a rough paste.
- Add paste and almond extract to the saucepan with the milk, cream and sugar and proceed to make custard.
*This recipe takes some planning, as the mixture must cool completely before freezing. This also intensifies the flavors, so it's a good thing. Make it in the morning, put it in the fridge for a few hours, and then freeze as you make dinner. It will be perfect by dessert!
*We highly recommend using the old-fashioned type of ice cream freezer for this recipe. The traditional rock-salt-and-ice method works best. We absolutely LOVE our White Mountain ice cream maker and would highly recommend it. It's a bit of an investment, but it's a workhorse that will last for years!
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