October is National Italian American Heritage month so I am posting a few of my favorite Italian recipes before the month is over. Hazelnut gelato is a wonderful autumn ice cream and one of our favorites. I recently came across LorAnn hazelnut flavor bakery emulsion and added some to this recipe. It definitely enhanced the flavor. You can purchase it through lorannoils.com. I bought it locally at Orson Gygi baking supply store. I am planning to make this gelato for Thanksgiving to accompany the pies and pumpkin cake. The recipe is adapted from Frances Mayes book Under The Tuscan Sun.
1 c. toasted hazelnuts, chopped
6 large egg yolks
1-1/2 c. sugar
4 c. half and half
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
2 c. heavy cream
zest and juice of half a large lemon
1-1/2 tsp. LorAnn hazelnut bakery emulsion
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Begin by toasting hazelnuts in a 375 degrees oven for 8-10 minutes or until fragrant. Place toasted nuts in a dish towel and rub off skin. Then chop nuts. While nuts are toasting, begin making the custard. In a bowl whisk together egg yolks and 1 cup of the sugar until smooth. In a 2-quart saucepan combine half and half along with the remaining 1/2 cup of the sugar and kosher salt. Cook on medium low heat, stirring often, until it is almost boiling. It should take 7 minutes or so. Whisking constantly, pour about 1 cup of the hot liquid into the egg yolk mixture. Pour yolk mixture back into the hot half and half in the saucepan and whisking often, cook until the custard coats the back of a spoon. Do not boil the custard. This should take 5-7 minutes. Pour custard into a bowl. Cover surface directly with plastic wrap and chill until cold. Then add cream, lemon zest and juice, and flavorings to the cold custard base and mix until smooth. Add toasted nuts. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Makes 2 quarts.