From The Ultimate Frozen Dessert Book by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough.
Makes about 1 quart (can be doubled for half-gallon machines)
2 3/4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
One 7 ounce tube almond paste (found in the baking aisle--should be soft and moist)
2/3 cup sugar
5 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (I bought the real extract, not the imitation)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Heat the milk and cream in a medium saucepan set over medium heat until tiny bubbled fizz around the pan's inner rim. Adjust the heat so the mixture stays this hot but does not come to a boil.
2. Place the almond paste and sugar in a large food processor fitted with the chopping blade; process until the texture of find sand, about 1 minute. Stop the machine, add the yolks all at once, and process until light and thick, about 2 minutes. (note: if you don't process enough, the end result will taste grainy from the almond paste--still delicious, but a weird texture.)
3. With the machine running, dribble in about half of the hot milk mixture through the feed tube; process until smooth. Then whisk this mixture back into the pan with the remaining hot milk mixture. Instantly reduce the heat to very low--if you have electric burners, place the pan on a second burner just now set on low. Cook slowly, stirring all the while, until the mixture thickens to the consistency of wet but smooth pancake batter and can coat the back of a wooden spoon, a little less than 2 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl to get rid of any extraneous bits of scrambled egg (and almond paste debris); stir in the almond extract and salt. Refrigerate until cold, for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
4. Just before making the gelato, place the almond custard and your ice cream maker's dasher, if possible, in the freezer to shock them extra cold, for nor more than 10 minutes. (we're trying this on our second batch which is being made tonight and tomorrow--it took a long time for this gelato to set up the first time.)
5. Freeze the custard in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's directions. Serve at once--or transfer to a large container or several smaller containers, seal tightly and store in the freezer for up to one 1 month. (if this gelato lasts a month at your house, you're a better person than I. ) Soften at room temperature for up to 10 minutes before serving.
I can't describe to you how good this gelato is. We love this cookbook (Zooba buy, $10) but instead of trying one of the other over 40 gelatos--not to metion sherberts, sorbets, etc. We had to make this one again. It's that good. If you love almond, you'll dream about this gelato...
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