Gelato Experiments

My husband and I got married in Italy, which meant that we had Gelato EVERY DAY while we were there. So, in honor of that memory I've been trying to make gelato. It's been a process and definitely an experiment. So, here's what I've tried so far and the results...

Gelato #1 (Creme de Menthe Gelato without an ice cream maker)

My dad came up with this recipe on the fly and it turned out good, but not quite right. It was a bit too sweet and had a little too much of an alcohol flavor to it. The videos feature my dad, my aunt and my cousin (I'm doing the taping) - ignore the kids in the background and the sound of the ice cream maker at the end of the last one.

Heat in a pan over medium heat

1 cup Flavored Alcohol (we used Crème de Menthe) ½ cup sugar

Just until sugar is dissolved. Then remove it from the heat and allow it to cool completely (you can place it in the fridge to cool if you want to speed up the process). If you don’t want to use alcohol in your ice cream you can replace the alcohol with water and then add whatever flavoring you want (like vanilla extract for example) later on.  If you don’t want to use alcohol or sugar you can instead puree fruit (like raspberry’s for example) and use that in place of the alcohol and sugar mixture.

Next whip

1 pint of heavy whipping cream

Until it is about the consistency of Buttermilk. When you pull a knife through the cream it should leave a trail behind it, like this:

Next slowly mix together the slightly whipped cream and the alcohol sugar mixture. Then place the mixture in an ice bath – here’s how: Get a big bowl and fill it half way with ice. Then add a little water so that the ice will move around and about a ½ cup of salt (rock salt works best). Then place the bowl that contains your gelato into the bowl that contains your ice.

Leave it in the ice bath (stirring occasionally) until it starts to thicken.

Once it has thickened quite a bit move it into an air tight container and place in the freezer for SEVERAL hours. You can stir it occasionally if you want to encourage it to freeze evenly. Or if you have an ice cream maker you can put it in an ice cream maker to make. But, for the poor man’s gelato (i.e. gelato without an ice cream maker) all you have to do is let it sit in the freezer for several hours.

After it’s frozen up a bit you can add chocolate to it. Melt the chocolate in a double broiler first and then quickly stir it into the gelato and get it back into the freezer to let it sit for several hours (over night works well).

Gelato #2 (Maple Gelato without an Ice Cream Maker)

This Gelato had a really nice flavor but the texture wasn't right at all. I think I did too things wrong - I over whipped the cream and I didn't add enough sugar - since I learned later that sugar helps keep the ice crystals in the ice cream small, thus creating a better texture.

1/2 cup water 3 Tablespoons unrefined cane sugar

Place water and sugar over medium heat until the sugar dissolves to create a simple syrup.

1 pint heavy cream

Whip the cream until it is the texture of buttermilk and just slightly thickened. (I whipped mine closer to runny whipped cream which was too much)

Allow your simple syrup and your slightly whipped cream to chill in the fridge until cool. Then mix them together and add 2 Tablespoons of real Maple Syrup. Chill the mixture in an ice bath for several hours and then move to the freezer for a few hours.

Gelato #3 (Rum and Coconut Gelato with an Ice Cream maker)

I liked this one - although I could have used less rum. The taste was sort of like a pina colada. The texture still wasn't quite right though - not creamy enough. This could have been due to the fact that I used only milk instead of cream. I think the low amount of sugar could also have contributed to the off texture.

Meat of 1 young coconut A little water 2/3 cup whole milk 1/3 cup unrefined cane sugar 2 Tablespoons of rum

In a food processor blend the meat from the coconut with a little water until you have a fairly smooth texture sort of reminiscent of applesauce. Next add the milk, sugar and rum to the food processor and process the whole thing until well blended and smooth. Place the mixture in the fridge for a bit to chill and then place it in an ice cream maker, following the directions provided for your specific machine.

Ok, so there are three Gelato recipes that are ok, but not really right. I share them thinking maybe some of you might have some suggestions for how to improve them. Or maybe you have your own favorite gelato recipe you could share with me. So, what do you think??

Rejoicing in the journey - Beth Stedmany

This post is my contribution for Two for Tuesdays this week. Check out the link for lots of other great posts.