Hazelnut gelato, or gelato alla nocciola, is one of the most common ice cream flavors in Italy. The creamy texture of the gelato coupled with the nutty earthy flavors of hazelnuts and this will quickly become a common treat in your house too!
2 cups whole milk
4 egg yolks
6 tbsp granulated sugar
½ cup hazelnuts
one vanilla bean
Place hazelnuts on a cookie sheet and broil for approx. five minutes, turning the nuts frequently to keep from burning.
Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Rub them with a wet paper towel to remove the skins.
Chop hazelnuts finely (or chop in a food processor) with 2 tbsp of sugar. Set aside
To make the custard which will be the base for the gelato, heat the milk and vanilla bean in a small saucepan. DO NOT let boil. As soon as you see small bubbles form around the outer edge of the pan, remove from heat immediately.
In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks. Incorporate the rest of the sugar gradually, while continuing to beat. Do this for about 3-5 minutes until the mixture is a pale yellow. Add the custard gradually, pouring it into the egg bowl through a sieve. Stir constantly until all the custard has been added. Discard the vanilla bean.
Pour this mixture in a double broiler which is placed on top of a pan of simmering water. Add the hazelnuts. Using a wooden spoon, stir over a medium heat until the water in the pan is boiling and the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
Remove from the heat and cool.
If you have an ice cream maker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If not it can be done in a few more easy steps!
Pour the mixture into a metal freezer container and freeze until it is set (approx. 3 hours). After it has set, remove the contents and chop roughly into several large pieces. Put the chunks into a food processor and blend until smooth. Return the mixture to the freezer container and freeze again until firm. Repeat the freezing, food processing process 2-3 times until the desired consistency is reached. It should be smooth and creamy!
Eat and Repeat! Mmmmmmm. Buon Apetito!