Butternut Squash Gelato with Candied Walnuts

Butternut Squash Gelato

from Pino Luongo’s “La Mia Cucina Toscana

2 cups heavy cream

2 cups whole milk

1 1/4 cups raw brown sugar (turbinado)

1/4 tsp. fine sea salt

4 large egg yolks

2 cups homemade or canned butternut squash puree (I roasted mine in the oven by cutting the squash in half, scooping out the seeds and baking cut side down on a baking sheet for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Puree the flesh in a food processor.)

1/4 tsp. ground cardamom

1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

2 T. dark rum

  1. Pour the cream into a large heavy flameproof casserole and add the milk, brown sugar and salt. Bring the liquid to a boil over low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Place the egg yolks in a bowl and beat them with a whisk until they turn pale yellow. Gradually add the milk mixture, whisking continuously.
  3. Pour the mixture into the top of a double boiler set over low heat or into a bowl set on top of simmering water. Cook until the mixture coats the back of a spoon, then remove from the heat and let cool. Add the rum.
  4. Place the butternut squash puree in a bowl and add 1 cup of the milk mixture, whisking continuously. Add the butternut squash mixture, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves and ginger to the milk mixture, whisking continuously.
  5. Process in an ice cream machine, following the manufacturer’s instructions. If desired, serve with candied walnuts.

Candied Walnuts

1/2 cup sugar

2 T. water

1 1/2 cups walnuts

In a cast iron or heavy gauge skillet, place the sugar and water and cook over low heat until sugar is melted. Toss in the walnuts and cook gently until walnuts are coated and the syrup begins to crystallize and turn golden. Be careful because it can burn easily. It will all begin to stick together and I use two forks to try to keep it separated.

Have a sheet of buttered waxed paper ready (or a Silpat mat) and dump the walnuts onto it, Use two forks to separate the walnuts.