Thursday, November 27, 2008

Recipe: Chestnut Gelato

Finally, it's chestnut season.  This means that it's also time to get creative with this simple and amazing nut.  Hot chestnuts are one of the great universal pleasures harkening the arrival of winter but unfortunately the once omnipresent roasting chestnut have fallen out of vogue.  For those of you who never have had a chestnut they are best when eaten warm, having been fresh roasted or boiled.  Peeling off the thick, brown skin reveals an off-white tender, nutty, sweet flesh that has a subtle and amazing flavor.  Chestnuts can be added to any number of dishes, such as ravioli filling, for example.  

Today, though, I decided to make chestnut gelato with the Missouri chestnuts my Mom brought home.  

The recipe is very simple, provided you have an ice-cream maker.  I suppose one could hand-churn the ice-cream but it's a tiring process - this would work as old-fashioned freezer-frozen ice cream as well.  This recipe is adapted from Gelato: Italian Ice Creams, Sorbetti and Granite by Pamela Sheldon Johns.

You will need:
2 cups whole milk
1/2 vanilla pod (I used Madagascar Vanilla from Penzey's Spices)
2/3 cups sugar
1 cup chestnut purée
4 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream

Boil chestnuts in slightly salty water until they are tender (cut one in half to test how soft it is - shouldn't yield too much resistance when you bite into it).  Heat milk and cream until it just starts to froth, turn down heat, scrape the vanilla seeds into the milk and add the bean pod into the milk - make sure to stir the whole time to avoid burning the bottom of the pot/ scalding the milk.  Let the milk stand for 30 minutes.  

Cream the yolks and sugar.  Combine chestnuts with the wet ingredients and mix until smooth and fully integrated.  Reheat the milk, remove the vanilla bean pods, and SLOWLY combine the milk with the yolk-sugar-chestnut mixture.  Careful not to add it too quickly or you will cook the egg!  Once combined you're pretty much ready to go.  Chill the ice cream thoroughly and proceed making it in your ice-cream-making contraption!

I tasted mine finally today, after "forgetting" to bring it to thanksgiving dinner and it was truly great!

Keep tuned for the next ice cream recipe where I'll be playing around with Star Anise!


1 comment:

Jusfood said...

How the taste will be... I just want to try and taste it..

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