Next to pistachios, almonds are my favourite kind of nut. (I'm mildly obsessed with marzipan). They're delicious and nutritious to boot (since apparently, it's a superfood). They also make a great, delicately flavored gelato; like vanilla, but less...ordinary. This is extra rich and velvety since the base is made from eggs and heavy cream.
Of course, you can get top-quality gelato and ice cream from the store. But making it from scratch is not only fun, but nice to be able to adjust flavours and ingredients to suit your taste. Homemade gelato is also usually denser than store-bought ice creams because less air is incorporated during churning.
The gelato can be enjoyed straight from the ice cream maker for a soft-serve consistency or, if you think you have the self-control, can be frozen for something more scoop-able.
Recipe after the jump
Toasted Almond Gelato
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 cups slivered almonds, toasted
5 egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
Infuse the milk and cream
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk, cream and almonds until a few bubbles appear along the edge of the pan. Remove from the heat and let steep for at least 15 minutes. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a liquid measuring pitcher.
Prepare the custard
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, granulated sugar and brown sugar until fluffy and lightened in color, 3 to 4 minutes. While whisking constantly, pour the milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture.
Return the mixture to the pan, set over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens slightly and reaches 170°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes. Do not let the custard boil. Pour the custard into a bowl and let cool, then cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 5 hours or up to overnight.
Churn and freeze the ice cream
Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the gelato to an airtight container, press a layer of plastic wrap onto the surface and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours. Let the gelato soften slightly before serving. Makes about 1 quart.
Recipe source: Williams-Sonoma Desserts
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