There is an inherent velvety nature to oil and with the high oil content in pine nuts, the two flavors seamlessly join together. When these savory items team up and are converted into a sweet and icy application, the taste in your mouth is beyond what you could ever expect. This gelato is fantastic on its own but also makes a great topping for sautéed figs or with a slice of flourless dark chocolate torte.
- Yield: 1 quart
- 1 cup pine nuts
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 5 large egg yolks
- ¾ cup sugar
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Scatter the nuts on a rimmed sheet pan and toast until light golden, about 8 minutes. Let cool.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, cream, and ½ cup of the pine nuts. Heat over medium low until bubbles just form at the surface and then puree with a hand blender until smooth. Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean and add the pod. Bring to a bare simmer. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and salt until the yolks lighten in color and texture. Slowly whisk in the steaming milk mixture a little at a time, taking care not to add it too fast and scramble the yolks.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon, 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately strain the custard through a fine sieve into a bowl. Whisk in the oil. Cool to room temperature, then chill the custard until cold, at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Freeze in an ice-cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, adding the remaining pine nuts at the end just to distribute them. The gelato will be soft, but ready to eat. For a firmer gelato, freeze for several hours after churning.