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Walnut Saffron Gelato

August 20, 2009
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Walnut and Saffron Gelato I feel I am on a roll with these cornstarch gelato recipes. I have figured out that the recipes with nuts have the best consistency. 
The other day I started thinking of another gelato recipe. I was envisioning one with hazelnuts and saffron. I was very excited all day and when I finally got home, I took the milk out and the hazelnuts which are stored in the freezer (nuts should be kept in the freezer to achieve a long shelf life). I placed them in a small cookie sheet and proceeded to roast them in the oven. Once they were cooled off, something in my head urged me to taste one- I had this strange feeling the hazelnuts had been sitting in the freezer for a while. Well, what do you know- they tasted awful! What was I going to do now??? The milk was already thickened with the cornstarch and the saffron was steeping in there. 

I opened my freezer again to pick another nut- walnuts screamed out at me. Well, I am very glad this little mishap occurred- the walnuts went fabulously well with the saffron. The taste reminded me of kulfi, which is essentially an Indian ice cream.

The flavor was nutty and sweet; the texture was smooth and creamy. What makes me really happy is that it’s made out of whole milk- so eat as much as you like. Try this one- it’s truly a winner.

  • 1 cup walnuts, ground up into a powder
  • ½ cup evaporated cane juice (sugar)
  • ½ teaspoon good quality saffron
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk to mix in the cornstarch
  • Ice cream maker

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, sugar and saffron on medium heat. Once bubbles begin to form on the edges, add the cornstarch mixed in with 2 tablespoons milk. Cook till the mixture begins to thicken, about 2-3 minutes and forms a custard consistency. Remove from the heat and add the powdered walnuts. Mix well and refrigerate overnight or at least 2 hours.
Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturers instructions. Freeze the gelato for at least an hour once it is done.

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