How to Make Italian Chestnut Gelato at Home from Scratch

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Chestnut gelato, perfect for the fall season! I made it the other night as a dessert for a dinner with friends and it was a hit! You must try it.

The recipe I am now going to show you is EGGLESS, unlike the traditional gelato recipe. Here the creaminess comes from boiled chestnut puree and semi-whipped cream.

Chestnuts, fresh milk, heavy cream, sugar and a little condensed milk. These are the only and simple ingredients to make chestnut gelato.

chestnut gelato recipe - 2

To make gelato di castagne (chestnut ice cream), I followed the suggestions of Chef Massimiliano Scotti, a great Italian gelato expert. It came out great!

Like all simple recipes made with a few ingredients, their success lies entirely in the quality and authenticity of the ingredients. It is therefore necessary to have high quality fresh whole milk and fresh heavy cream. DO NOT use skim milk or long-life milk.

chestnut gelato recipe - 1

When autumn comes and sweet chestnuts appear on our tables, one cannot resist the temptation. Even better if it’s homemade Chestnut Gelato! Sweet, creamy and enveloping, Chestnut Gelato will surprise you with its goodness.

Now I will show you how to make the best homemade Chestnut Gelato recipe without eggs, WITH and WITHOUT ice cream maker.



WITH Ice Cream Maker:

  • Prep Time: 1 H (about half an hour of cooling in the refrigerator + about 30/40 min in ice cream maker)
  • Cook Time: 1 H (Double cooking of chestnuts, first in water and then in milk)
  • Servings: 4-6 people, that is about 600 g (3 cups) of Gelato

WITHOUT Ice Cream Maker:

  • Prep Time: 5 1/2 H (about half an hour of cooling in the refrigerator + cooling in the freezer for about 5 H)
  • Cook time: 1 H (Double cooking of chestnuts, first in water and then in milk)
  • Servings: 4-6 people, that is about 600 g (3 cups) of Gelato

PLEASE NOTE: For variations on ingredients, see the last paragraph at the end of the recipe

  • 450 g (1 pound) chestnuts. You should get about 250 g (~1/2 pound) of boiled and peeled chestnuts
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) of granulated sugar
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) of condensed milk
  • 200 g (3/4 cup) of fresh whole milk
  • 250 ml (1 cup) of fresh heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 teaspoon of fine salt
  • unsweetened cocoa powder for decoration

chestnut gelato recipe - 5

Kitchen Tools and Equipment

Gelatiera (Ice Cream Maker)

The most useful tool for making chestnut gelato is for sure an ice cream maker or Gelatiera. There are various types, but the best is the one that has a compressor that cools while churning the gelato.

Let’s have a look at some of them:

The best performing gelato machines are Musso ice cream makers. They are made entirely in Italy but have spread successfully throughout the world. The smaller model is made for home use but has the same features as the professional machines.

Lello 4080 Musso Lussino 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker is easy to use, perfect for professional results at home. It has a powerful and robust refrigeration system to achieve professional performance without pre-cooling.

Another high-performance ice cream maker is the Whynter ICM-200LS Automatic Ice Cream Maker (built-in compressor, no pre-freezing). Incredibly easy to use, you can create delicious gelato in the comfort of your own home. 

Other types of gelato makers, without a compressor, plan to keep the special container of the machine in the freezer many hours ahead of time to cool the ingredients while mixing them, but its autonomy is quite short. Among these we recommend Cuisinart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker which in our opinion is inexpensive and practical.

Other Kitchen Tools

If you want to make chestnut gelato without an ice cream maker, the result is still good if you follow our step-by-step recipe. A gelato container is useful in this case. It’s still a necessary tool, either in case you don’t eat all the gelato right away or if you make your gelato with the ice cream maker.

Other accessories to serve your homemade gelato di castagne can be the tool to make the gelato scoops or the handy scoops to make sundaes of gelato.

In addition to these kitchen tools, for the chestnut gelato recipe you will need an immersion blender. You will use it to blend the chestnuts cooked in milk. This will make them creamy.

Chestnut Galato: Instructions

chestnut gelato recipe step 1

Step 1) – First boil the chestnuts in plenty of lightly salted water. The cooking time depends on the size of the chestnuts. However, do not cook for less than 30-40 minutes.

Drain and peel the chestnuts. Do not worry if you cannot keep them whole, you will still have to blend them. Take care to remove the skin well.

chestnut gelato recipe step 2

Step 2) – Place the chestnuts in a saucepan and add the milk, condensed milk, salt and sugar.

chestnut gelato recipe step 3

Step 3) – Bring to the boil and simmer over a low heat, stirring with a whisk, until the chestnuts fall apart. This will take 20 to 30 minutes.

Turn off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. If you like, you can put them in the refrigerator for about half an hour.

chestnut gelato recipe step 4

Step 4) – Once cooled, place the chestnut mixture in the bowl of an immersion blender and begin to blend.

As you blend, slowly add the heavy cream in a slow stream. This will allow the cream to incorporate air and become semi-whipped.

You should get a smooth, homogeneous mixture with a consistency similar to that of custard.

Now that we have our chestnut mixture, let’s make chestnut gelato! We will make it in two ways: WITH and WITHOUT an ice-cream maker.

How to Make Chestnut Gelato WITH an Ice Cream Maker

chestnut gelato recipe step 5A

Step 5A) – At this point, you are ready to pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and start it up.

Follow the machine’s instructions. We used an ice cream maker with a compressor that cools as it churns the gelato. It took about 40 minutes to make the gelato.

Once made, you can enjoy your chestnut gelato right away or store it in the freezer in the special gelato container.

How to Make Chestnut Gelato WITHOUT an Ice Cream Maker

chestnut gelato recipe step 5B

Step 5B) – If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can still make an excellent chestnut gelato. The process is very simple, but takes a little more time.

Pour the chestnut mixture into the previously cooled container.

Cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove from freezer and stir with a whisk. Return the gelato to the freezer.

This mixing process should be repeated 4 or 5 times. Always about 30 minutes apart ( it takes about 5 hours).

If the gelato is almost liquid at first, it will gradually become more consistent. If you break the ice crystals well each time, you will get a creamy chestnut gelato, similar to what you get with an ice cream maker!

chestnut gelato recipe - 4

How to Store Chestnut Gelato

The best way to enjoy homemade chestnut gelato is to eat it fresh from the ice-cream maker, creamy and velvety.

Of course, if you have leftovers or if you make it ahead of time, you will need to store it in the freezer.

As with all homemade gelato, the authenticity of the ingredients and the absence of preservatives mean that it should be eaten within a few days at most.

TIP: If the gelato is too hard and frozen, let it thaw in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

How to Serve Chestnut Gelato

You can serve chestnut gelato as a delicious dessert or as a nutritious and tasty snack.

Serve it with a sprinkling of bitter cocoa. Cocoa goes very well with chestnut gelato because it contrasts well with the sweetness of the gelato.

Chestnut gelato can also be served with dollops of whipped cream.

chestnut gelato recipe - 1

Chestnut Gelato: Some Variations

As we have seen, making chestnut gelato is quite simple. The only somewhat tedious and time-consuming step is boiling and peeling the chestnuts.

Needless to say, the flavor of freshly boiled chestnuts is wonderful and definitely worth cooking.

  • BOILED CHESNUTS: Of course, you can replace raw chestnuts to make this mouthwatering treat with already boiled and peeled, ready-to-use chestnuts.
  • CHESTNUT FLOUR: Many people make chestnut gelato with chestnut flour. Heat the milk and slowly add the flour (100g = 1 cup), stirring with a whisk. Cook until the milk thickens. Then add the sugar and condensed milk and continue as described.
  • ALCOHOL: A shot of rum or cognac is often added to chestnut gelato. The alcoholic note contrasts and complements the sweetness of the chestnuts really well.
  • COCOA: Many gelato shops add a teaspoon of bitter cocoa to the gelato mixture to add more flavor and color to the gelato.

chestnut gelato recipe - 2

Leave a Comment