Top | Recipe of the Week: Ice Cream

Toasted Pecan Gelato

(recipe, Sally Sampson)

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This gelato is my true favorite and the only item in the book I wasn't able to resist eating and eating and eating. I would have a scoop and put the rest back in the freezer, only to return again for another scoop. And on and on until it was all gone.


  1. 2 cups whole milk
  2. 1 cup heavy cream
  3. ⅔ cup light brown sugar, divided
  4. 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  5. Pinch of kosher salt
  6. 1 cup toasted pecans, finely ground (see Note)
  7. ½ tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Place the milk, cream, and ⅓ cup of the brown sugar in a small saucepan and cook over low heat, whisking from time to time, until it is warm, about 175 degrees.
  2. Place the egg yolks, ⅓ cup of the brown sugar, and the salt in a small metal bowl and whisk until completely mixed. Add ¼ cup of the warm-milk mixture to the eggs, whisking all the while. Continue adding milk to the eggs, ¼ cup at a time, until you have added about 1½ cups.
  3. Slowly, whisking all the while, return the now milk-and-egg mixture to the remaining milk mixture in the pan and continue cooking until it just begins to thicken or reaches about 185 degrees. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
  4. Pour through a medium-fine strainer into a metal bowl. Discard the solids. Add the pecans and stir well.
  5. Set the mixture aside until it reaches room temperature, then add the vanilla extract and stir well.
  6. Cover and refrigerate until the mixture reaches 40 degrees, about 3 hours. Transfer to an ice-cream maker and proceed according to the manufacturer's instructions.


Culinate editor's note: If using raw pecans, toast the pecans for a few minutes in a toaster oven or, more carefully, in a dry skillet, then grind them in a food processor. You can also collapse the cooling steps into one; simply add the vanilla extract when you add the pecans and chill the entire mixture until it's cool enough to churn, several hours or overnight.