When you’re looking to put your ice cream maker to good use, consider experimenting with the rainbow of flavors possible with homemade gelato – the Italian version of ice cream. After sampling a host of tantalizing gelato flavors at the local Italian bakery, it got me thinking – what do I have to do to make this dessert at home? From mango to pistachio to coffee-flavored gelato, you can recreate the intense flavors of gelato for your next summertime sweet treat.
What’s So Special About Gelato?
Gelato is to Italy what ice cream is to North America, but with three distinct differences. For starters, gelato contains significantly less butterfat than ice cream. Since there is a lower butterfat content, gelato doesn’t freeze as solid as ice cream. Because of this – gelato melts in your mouth faster, delivering an instantaneous blast of flavor.
Manufacturers often add air to their product to double their quantity. However, the quality of the ice cream suffers. With gelato, no air is added, which creates a much higher density than ice cream that produces a richer and creamier sweet treat in taste. Gelato is actually served at a slightly warmer temperature than ice cream with about a 10- to 15-degree difference. In its less frozen, the taste of gelato is further amplified as it melts in your mouth.
When you buy gelato at a shop or grocery store, look for selections that use real fruit, nuts, chocolates, milk and cream, instead of flavored syrups.
Homemade Gelato Recipe
You can also make your own gelato at home with:
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
1. In a medium saucepan, mix 2 cups of milk and 1 cup of cream. Warm the mixture until foam starts to form around the edges. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
2. Beat 4 egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until they become frothy.
3. Gradually pour the warm milk into the egg yolks. Whisk constantly, and then return the mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture gels slightly and coats the back of the spoon. Remove the mixture immediately if you see lumps of egg begin to appear.
4. Into a bowl, pour the mixture through a sieve or fine strainer. Cover, and chill for several hours or leave in the refrigerator overnight.
5. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the maker’s instructions. Transfer the gelato mix to a sealed container. Freeze until it becomes firm. If the gelato is too firm, place in the refrigerator until it reaches the desired consistency.
If you don’t feel like making your own, you can always buy some! Check out this Gelato Classico Variety Pack (Pack of 6)!