While Jeff and I were in our honeymoon in the Mediterranean last summer I fell in LOVE with gelato.  For those of you unfamiliar with gelato,  I would say the texture is somewhere between frozen yogurt and ice cream.  It’s smooth, SO so creamy, and deliciously rich.  In Italy, we saw some of the most outrageous combinations of flavors and toppings that you could ever dream of.

Me, enjoying gelato in Sorrento, Italy

When I came home from the honeymoon I did some research to find a reputable gelato cookbook.  It seemed as though one of the overwhelming favorites was The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato & Sorbetto, by F.W. Pearce and Danilo Zecchin.

Gelato can be made very easily in your inexpensive ice cream maker at home, it’s just the chemistry of the concoction that creates the noticeable difference from ice cream.  Per Ciao Bella: “Gelato is a frozen dessert similar to ice cream but made with less fat (or cream) and less air.  The extra fat in ice cream can mask its flavors, so gelato tends to be much more flavorful, smoother, denser, and more intense than ice cream.”

So now to the real crux of the matter…..

I hope that this does not reflect poorly on me, but I have a thing for BOOZY desserts.  I can’t explain why.  To me,  a touch of alcohol really can make a ho-hum dessert taste especially mature and grown-up.  Not that I care about being any of those things…   Just add a little Baileys, Dark Rum, Kahlua, Frangelico, etc.  to any dessert, and you will find me in line to get some.  Even our wedding cake was chocolate with Baileys butter cream frosting…MmmmmmMmmm.

Our Wedding Cake: Chocolate with Baileys Buttercream Frosting

With that being said, how could I resist an opportunity to combine gelato with liquor?  Along with “Chocolate Stout Gelato,” “Irish Cream Gelato,” and “Caramel Cognac Gelato”  I found this recipe for Bourbon Butter Pecan Gelato in the Ciao Bella book (although those other recipes will certainly be tried in time…).  Since Jeff has recently decided to take up Bourbon drinking, we had some in the house.  So this was the winner….this time…

Start by melting 1 stick of butter over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it melts completely and has turned a light golden color, about 5 minutes.  Remove the butter from the heat and pour into a medium heat-proof bowl and allow it to cool slightly.

In a heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the whole milk and cream and cook, stirring occasionally, so a skin does not form.  Tiny bubbles will start to form around the edges.  Heat the mixture until it reaches a temperature of 170 F.

While the cream mixture is heating, whisk the sugar with the butter until smooth.  Whisk in the egg yolks until the mixture is thick and pale.  Temper the egg mixture by very slowly pouring in the milk mixture, while whisking continuously.  If you pour the hot milk in too fast, you will get scrambled eggs.  You do NOT want scrambled eggs in your gelato.

Return the custard to the saucepan and place over low heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.  The custard is ready when it reaches a temperature of 185 F and coats the back of the spoon.  Do not let the custard boil.

Pour the custard through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl and cool completely, stirring often. To cool quickly, place the bowl in a larger bowl filled with an ice bath.  Continue to stir until completely cooled.

Once cooled, cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least for hours or overnight.

To roast your pecan halves, preheat your oven to 350 and spread the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once or twice.  Nuts will be fragrant and lightly browned.

Gently whisk the bourbon into the custard.  Pour the mixture into the container of your ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions (it’s about 20 minutes for mine…).  Add the pecans 5 minutes before the churning is complete.

Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.

Trust me, once you try gelato, it will be difficult for you to ever go back to ice cream!

Ingredients  

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 cup roasted pecan halves, frozen
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Categories: Ice Cream/Gelato, Recipes, Sweets

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4 Comments on “”

  1. July 3, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Bourbon “Snowballs” | Steeltown Delicious - December 22, 2011

    […] you saw my Bourbon Butter Pecan Gelato post earlier this year, you would have learned that I have an obsession with any kind of boozy […]

  2. TWO Gelato Recipes! Key Lime with Graham Cracker and Blueberry | Steeltown Delicious - August 15, 2012

    […] recap the plain base method here, I will mention that it is essentially the same technique used in Bourbon Butter Pecan Gelato (AMAZING if you have not yet tried it).  The only difference in the Bourbon recipe, is the addition […]

  3. TWO Gelato Recipes! Key Lime with Graham Cracker and Blueberry | Steeltown Delicious - June 26, 2013

    […] recap the plain base method here, I will mention that it is essentially the same technique used in Bourbon Butter Pecan Gelato (AMAZING if you have not yet tried it).  The only difference in the Bourbon recipe, is the addition […]

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