Peanut Butter Gelato Recipe

Reader Contribution by Bruce Weinstein And Mark Scarbrough
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This creamy, luscious Peanut Butter Gelato Recipe may be just the thing when you want a treat completely over the top. Makes about 1 quart (can be doubled for half-gallon machines)


5 large egg yolks, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl with a whisk or an electric mixer at medium speed until thin, even if grainy, and lightly colored, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

2. Heat the milk and cream in a medium saucepan set over medium heat until small bubbles appear around the pan’s inner rim; do not boil but adjust the heat to maintain these bubbles.

3. Whisk about a quarter of the hot milk mixture into the egg-yolk mixture until smooth, then whisk the combined mixture back into the remaining hot milk mixture in the pan. Immediately reduce the heat to very low — if you’re using an electric stove, move the pan to a second burner just now set on low. Cook slowly, stirring all the while, until the mixture thickens slightly, about like smooth, very wet pancake batter, and can coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the peanut butter until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl; stir in the vanilla. Refrigerate until cold, for about 4 hours, or overnight.

4. As you prepare your ice cream machine, place the custard and your machine’s dasher, if possible, in the freezer to assure they’re both cold, for no more than 10 minutes.

5. Freeze the custard in your ice cream machine according to your manufacturer’s instructions. Serve at once — or scoop into a large container or several smaller ones, seal well, and store in the freezer for up to 1 month; soften at room temperature for up to 10 minutes before serving.

Customize it!

Substitute any of the following for the peanut butter: almond butter, cashew butter, chocolate hazelnut spread such as Nutella, hazelnut butter, or walnut butter.

And/or add 2/3 cup of one of the following, or any combination of the following, to the machine just before the gelato sets, or mix into the finished gelato as it’s placed in a container for storage: chocolate sprinkles, chocolate-covered peanuts, chocolate-covered raisins, crumbled graham crackers, crumbled peanut butter cream sandwich cookies, dried cherries, dried cranberries, M&M’s Mini Baking Bits, milk chocolate chips, Reese’s Pieces, or semisweet chocolate chips.

And/or layer 1 cup of any of the following into the storage container as the gelato is spooned or dispensed into it, making three or four thin layers between the gelato: purchased butterscotch ice cream sauce, chocolate ice cream sauce, marshmallow ice cream topping, strawberry ice cream sauce, or wet walnut ice cream topping.

Read more: Learn how to make frozen desserts for the summer, including ice cream, sorbet and more, in Discover the Many Delicious Types of Frozen Desserts.

Photo By Fotolia/Ivan Floriani

This Peanut Butter Gelato Recipe was reprinted from The Ultimate Frozen Dessert Book by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2005.