Hazelnut (Filbert) Gelato

Hazelnuts (Filberts)

Hazelnuts (Filberts)

By Cat, Nov 2007 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

Italian ice cream is all the rage now, with its intense flavor and soft texture. Most Gelato shops make a product from milk, rather than cream, but it is just as authentic with a milk-cream mixture. Usually a custard method is used (see Ice Cream & Frozen Dessert Basics for more).

Hazelnut (Filbert) Gelato

This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit, September 2005 (1) (available on Epicurious (2)), and makes 1 quart.  The original recipe calls for 3 egg yolks, but I prefer to use a combination of yolks and whole eggs (unless I have another use for the whites). It also calls for ¾cup sugar, which I have adapted to a combination of stevia and raw honey.

You have to really want this gelato, because it’s quite tedious to remove the husks from the hazelnuts, even if you roll them in a cotton kitchen towel, as some just won’t want to be removed.  You will get more health benefit from the hazelnuts if you soak them first, and then dry them (see my article on soaking nuts).

Toasted pignoli (pine nuts) can also be used, instead of hazelnuts. but be careful as they burn easily when toasting.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 egg yolk + 1 whole egg (or 3 yolks)
  • 2 cups raw milk
  • ⅔ – ¾ cup Rapadura or white sugar (OR ¼ – ½ tsp stevia extract powder plus 2 Tbsp raw local honey)
  • 1 cup raw cream (or whipping cream)
  • ½ Tbsp real vanilla extract
  • Equipment:
  • cookie sheets (for drying nuts)
  • large bowl (or stand mixer bowl)
  • egg whisk
  • 2-quart saucepan or double boiler
  • wooden spoon
  • ice cream freezer
  • ice and rock salt (if using old-fashioned freezer)


  1. Soak, dry, and husk hazelnuts, then finely grind them (see my article on soaking nuts).
  2. Whisk eggs, yolks, sugar (or stevia and honey) in large bowl until combined.
  3. Meanwhile, bring milk to a simmer in saucepan (don’t wait for it to bubble; just watch for when the steam begins to gather at the surface). Add half the milk to the egg mixture and whisk until blended.  Stir in remaining milk.
  4. Pour back into saucepan, and cook over medium-low heat until custard has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Do not boil.
  5. Remove from heat and immediately stir in cream, and then the ground hazelnuts and vanilla extract. Optional:  strain custard to remove the grit of the nuts, if desired.
  6. Refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours.
  7. Freeze in a 1.5 – 2-quart ice cream freezer, according to manufacturer’s directions.  See  also Ice Cream & Frozen Dessert Basics section on “Freezing the Ice Cream” for details.
  8. For ease of serving, transfer to an empty yogurt container with lid, and store in freezer.


  1. Bon Appetit, September 2005
  2. Epicurious (epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/HAZELNUT-GELATO-PROFITEROLES-WITH-WARM-KAHLUA-SAUCE-230665

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