Wednesday, August 14, 2013


On a hot Italian Summer night you will find groups of friends chatting a laughing in a "Gelateria" sitting infront of a gourmet gelato.
Simply put, gelato is ice cream that contains less fat. Many varieties are made with milk and some don’t contain egg yolks. Also, gelato counters are kept a little warmer than their ice cream counterparts. It allows it to remain softer, so “your mouth doesn’t get ‘frozen’ and you can taste the flavors better.”

How to make gelato

The simplest gelato is made with an egg custard and light cream or milk. All the flavors combinations in the world can be added to this simple base but it’s also very good on its own (or simply infused with a fresh vanilla pod).
You can make this recipe with lactose-free milk or cream, soy milk (choose one with the mildest aftertaste), almond or rice milk. Just make sure that the milk or cream you choose can withstand heat (some will become grainy if cooked). Test it if the package doesn’t tell you (by boiling a small quantity and tasting it afterwards). If the texture is spoiled, at least you won’t have to throw away your whole gelato recipe.
A little tip for service: because gelato contains less fat, it tends to freeze a lot harder.
Take your gelato out of the freezer approximately 15 minutes before serving to soften it.

Gelato di Crema – The base

2 ½ cups 5% fat cooking cream or any kind of milk you like
5 egg yolks
½ cup granulated sugar

Heat the cream (or milk) until it is beginning to bubble, then cool slightly. Watch it closely if you don’t want to make a big mess because cream and milk reach their boiling point very suddenly.
In a large heatproof bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until thick and creamy (about 2 minutes at medium speed). Beat the cooling cream very slowly into the eggs to warm the mixture gradually (if you add it too quickly, you may end up with scrambled eggs!).

Put the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and stir with a
wooden spoon until the custard just coats the back of the spoon.

Remove the bowl from the pan and let it cool. My trick is to place it
in the sink filled with 2-3 inches of cold water and stirring it gently
one in a while: this method cools the custard in about 10 minutes
(you can also add ice to the water to make it even quicker).
If you have time on your hands you can put it in the refrigerator.
The important thing is that your custard is completely cooled when
you put it in the ice cream maker.

Prepare your fruits: Raspberry and Cherry Ripple Gelato
This gelato contains cherry and raspberry puree, as well as diced
fruits for texture. You could substitute pretty much any berry and
I’m sure it would be equally good.

Cherry puree
2 cups pitted cherries, chopped
½ cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup lemon juice (from approximately 1 lemon)

Put everything in a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for 10
 minutes. Let cool. Puree using a blender or a food processor.
Save 1/3 cup of the cherry puree for the ripple.

Raspberry puree
1 cup fresh raspberries
1/8 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Puree all the ingredients together in a blender or a food processor.
Strain the puree with a fine mesh to remove the raspberry seeds.
Set aside.

Other ingredients for the ripple
¼ cup pitted and finely diced cherries
¼ cup lightly crushed raspberries
1/3 cup cherry puree (reserved from the recipe above)

Freeze the gelato:

Blend your cooled custard base with the cherry and raspberry purees
(except 1/3 cup cherry puree reserved for the ripple).
At this point, you can add 2 tablespoons of any alcohol you think
would taste good with your flavors (I added Absolut Raspberry Vodka).
It’ll help keep your gelato more scoopable.
Pour your fruit custard into an ice cream maker and freeze according
to the manufacturer’s instructions. Stop the machine when the gelato is
almost firm.

To get a rippled gelato:
Pour 1/4 of the gelato custard in a airtight container big enough to store
the whole gelato recipe. On the gelato, pour 1/3 of the chopped fruits and
1/3 of the reserved cherry puree. Repeat twice and end with a layer of
gelato custard. Layering fruits and custard this way will create the
beautiful rippled look when you scoop your gelato in serving cups.
Put your assembled gelato in the freezer for an additional 30 minutes
or until required. It will keep for a month.



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