Gelato is the Italian equivalent of the ice cream we all know and love, but with a lot more sugar. Don’t let that high sugar content fend you off, though. Gelato, while higher in sugar, has lower amounts of fat in comparison to its American cousin. The custard base of the creamy dessert versus just ordinary milk makes the gelato smoother in texture. American ice cream adds air during the processing, while gelato does not, which makes it richer with a more icy, sweet flavor. Gelato also uses more fruits to create its sensational flavors instead of sugary syrups and artificial flavors that is used in ice cream. This creamy and light treat will make a fresh and adventurous addition to your summer dessert menu. Although the process is pretty extensive, the end result is definitely worth it.
- 2 cups milk (whole, low fat or fat free)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup fat free powdered milk
- 8 eggs (yolks only needed)
- 1 cup light cream, half and half or fat free half and half
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 cups of prepared fruit (strawberries, peaches, raspberries, etc.)
- 1 ice cream maker
- Ice cubes (about eight trays)
- 2 cups (500 ml) table salt
- 1 large pot
- 1 wooden or plastic spatula
1. Using a large pan, mix the fat free milk in a large pot with a heavy bottom. Bring the mix to a low simmer over medium heat, and stir it to dissolve the Splenda. Then, turn the heat down and just keep it warm.
2. Now, separate the egg yolks from the eight large eggs. Put the egg yolks in a medium bowl, and whisk it until they are thickened. It only takes about two minutes but if you are too lazy to do it by hand, then use a hand mixer on low speed.
3. While constantly whisking, slowly add one cup of the hot milk mixture, and whisk it until it is blended (this will just take a few seconds). Now, pour the egg mixture back into the pot of hot milk, and increase the heat level to medium.
4. Constantly stir the mixture with a wooden or plastic spoon until the mixture is thickened (like gravy) and is registered between 170°F and 180°F - it is best to check this with an instant-read thermometer.
5. Stir in light cream and vanilla. Cover and place into the refrigerator for at least six hours before continuing with the recipe. If you need to, you can keep the mix in the refrigerator overnight or for 24 to 48 hours!
6. Now, it is time to prepare your fruity flavoring. You can add almost any fruit you have! If you want vanilla, just pop the mix into the maker. If you want chocolate ice cream, just add your favorite chocolate syrup, such as Hershey's or Nestle, to the mixer just before it is time to turn on the ice cream maker. Some fruits work better than others. You get the best flavor if you puree the fruit first in your food processor or blender. While apples, coconuts and pomegranates might not be such a good choice, fruits like strawberries, raspberries, mangoes, figs and peaches are ideal for this. To prepare the fruit, just prepare it like you would for eating, and then blend it in your food processor or blender for a few minutes. Here are some tips:
- Peaches and nectarines: remove skins, pits and bruised areas
- Strawberries: Remove the cap (the green parts)
- Raspberries: Just wash them
- Blackberries: Wash them and remove the seeds if you like
- Figs: Remove stems and bruises
- Mangoes: Peel, and cut the flesh off the stone.
8. Pour 1 cup (250 ml) of cold water into the ice bucket.
9. Place an inch (2.5 cm) layer of ice cubes around cream canister in the ice bucket. (Hint: Cream canister should stand straight while layering.)
10. Sprinkle 1/3 cup (75 ml) of table salt or 1/4 cup (50 ml) of coarse Kosher salt on ice.
11. Continue to layer the ice and salt on top of the ice bucket.
12. Pour one cup (250 ml) of cold water over the top ice layer.
13. Turn the ice cream maker on, and let the maker work until it is thickened, for about 20 to 25 minutes. If you are making chocolate gelato, this is the time to add the chocolate syrup. You will need to add about 1/2 cup of chocolate syrup.
14. From time to time, add more ice cubes and salt as needed. You can tell when the gelato is done by simply checking the consistency through the opening on the top of the ice cream maker. You will also hear the motor straining as the ice cream freezes. On some units, the directions with the maker tell you to let it work until the motor stalls and stops.
15. When it is done, the gelato should have a soft, creamy texture. Gelato should be stored in a freezer that is just below freezing (say 30 F), or else it will become harder - you'll need to thaw it and hand whip it back to smooth and soft!
By: Aspen Evans | Recipe: Source | Images: Source