A few weeks ago, I got The Flavour Thesaurus. It’s a cooking book, but not a cook book. It lists ingredients by their flavour and then lists what goes well with it. And I read about strawberry and hazelnuts being a combo that allow “the fruit’s flavour to shine in a way that chocolate rarely can.”
And I knew just what I wanted to do: Strawberry-Hazelnut ice cream. One recipe that was a strawberry and hazelnut flavoured ice cream came up… but it used the hazelnuts pureed into a nut butter, mixed with strawberries. The oils in the nut butter froze incredibly hard and turned into a crumbly frozen mess, albeit a tasty one.
So I took a new approach, combining David Lebovitz’s Gianduja Gelato recipe (from The Perfect Scoop) and this strawberry ice cream recipe from epicurious. And there were lots of steps. And often I skip steps, but not this time. I did every. single. step.
And the results were just what I wanted.
Strawberry hazelnut ice cream
- 180 grams (1.5 cups) hazelnuts, roasted, skins rubbed off, finely chopped in a food processor
- 1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
- 1.5 cups (375 ml) heavy cream
- 150 grams (3/4 cup) sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 egg yolks
- 500 grams (3-ish cups) strawberries
Roast your hazelnuts and rub them in a dish towel to get the skins off. Pulse a few times in the food processor to get them finely chopped.
In the mean time, heat up your milk, cream, salt and 1/2 cup sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Once there, pour your hazelnuts into the milk mixture and let it steep for an hour.
As the hazelnuts steep, hull your strawberries and puree them in your food processor. Strain the puree through a mesh sieve and set aside.
Combine the last quarter cup of sugar and the egg yolks in another bowl. Whisk together until well combined.
When the hazelnuts are done steeping their delicious deep roasted flavour into the milk, drain them through a mesh sieve. Press on them a few times to really get the last juices and as much flavour as you can out of them. Toss the hazelnuts and put your hazelnut-flavoured milk back on the stove and warm it up but don’t let it boil. When it’s almost at the boiling point, get your whisk ready and slowly pour in a cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture to temper it. Once the whole cup is mixed in, pour into your saucepan on the stove and heat up, stirring constantly, until the custard starts to thicken.
Remove from stove and stir in your strawberry puree.
Cool in fridge for at least two hours and then follow your ice cream maker’s instructions for the rest.
It’s really, really good.