Hazelnut Gelato

All of this cold weather is making me long for those seemingly never-ending, warm, beautiful summer nights. Which got me thinkin' about our trip to Italy... and one of their specialties: hazelnut gelato. We had gelato pretty much every night while we were in Italy. That's nine straight nights of gelato. And I miss it!

The coolest part about Italian gelato, besides how awesome it tastes, is that you get to pick a different flavor of gelato for every scoop. They expect you to, and I was 100% on board with this. My go to flavors were hazelnut and pistachio, with an amaretto thrown in there every once in a while!

Once we got our gelato, we'd walk around the streets of Rome, or Florence, or wherever we were, and people watch and look at the beautiful sights around us. It was perfect

THIS recipe will make you feel like you are eating that perfectly nutty, creamy hazelnut gelato from the little corner gelateria on the piazza. It brought me right back there. 

Printable Recipe HERE.

Warning: This made maybe 4 cups of gelato. It was devoured in 1.6 days. So you might want to make a double batch!

1 cup hazelnuts 
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
Pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large pan over medium heat, toast the hazelnuts until fragrant, about 5 - 10 minutes, tossing occasionally to toast all sides evenly.

Add the toasted hazelnuts, 1/4 cup sugar and salt to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. 

In a large sauce pan over medium heat, add the milk, cream, and chopped hazelnut mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes. 

Meanwhile, combine the 4 egg yolks and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Whisk or beat until the egg yolks are a pale yellow. 

Turn the heat on the milk mixture down to LOW.

Temper the egg yolks: Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, stirring continuously, to slowly bring the temperature of the egg yolk mixture up. This will prevent the eggs from scrambling when you add them to the hot milk mixture. Once the eggs are warm, add them into the remaining milk mixture and stir continuously to combine. Cook for 7 - 10 minutes more (do NOT bring to a simmer), stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and scrambling of the eggs! 

Add the Nutella and vanilla to the mixture and stir to combine. 

Chill the gelato mixture completely.

Strain the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the solids. (I had a hard time throwing out the hazelnuts, but I'm glad I did. The flavor from the toasted hazelnuts definitely still came through in the ice cream and I really liked the smooth texture.)

Churn the gelato and freeze until ready to serve.