Basil Gelato w/ Toasted Pine Nuts

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I’ve been wanting to try making an herb gelato just to see what it tastes like. Most people think of herbs in terms of savory dishes, but in Italy for instance, herb flavored gelatos are common, especially during the summer months. My good friend and blogging partner Duane, is moving soon so I decided to throw a little farewell shindig.This was a perfect opportunity for me to whip out the trusty ice cream machine and churn up a batch of basil gelato. I decided to mix in some toasted pine nuts to add some texture and flavor that would match up well w/ the basil. The results were surprisingly good… good enough to deserve a post on the Zin!! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!

Ingredients

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

1 quart half + half

1 cup sugar

8 egg yolks

2 1/2 ounces fresh basil (chopped)

Procedure

1) In medium saucepan heat half + half and chopped basil gently to a simmer, then turn off heat

2) Pour half + half mixture into food processor and blend until basil is finely ground, then strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove the basil

3) In medium size mixing bowl combine egg yolks and sugar and beat together until pale yellow

4) Beat 2 tablespoons of the warm half + half into the egg mixture (do this slowly to avoid curdling the eggs), then beat in the remaining half + half little by little

5) Place bowl over a pot of simmering water and cook over a gentle heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon (do not let temperature exceed 170 degrees or mixture will start to curdle)

6) Cool in an ice bath

7) Chill mixture in fridge for at least 4 hours

8) Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions, adding the toasted pine nuts at the halfway point of the churning process

9) Transfer gelato to a 2 qt plastic container, cover top w/ parchment paper cut to size (this will reduce air exposure and prevent ice crystals from forming on the surface of gelato), and freeze until firm

Yield: Approx. 1 ½ quarts

Safe travels and best of luck in your new city Duane.

Bruno

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