Friday, May 8, 2009
It's spring time, and that means it's time to make fresh, hand-churned gelato.
For those who aren't ice cream conneiseurs such as myself, gelato is a lower-fat (4% butterfat but I go up to 8% for flavor) Italian version of ice cream. I make it with ultra-fresh ingredients and I freeze it at a far lower temperature than ice cream itself. The texture is creamy, not icey, and it should melt on your tongue. I prefer to eat small scoops (half the size of an ice cream scoop) with a tiny metal spoon.
One of my favorite recipes I created is Honey-Rose gelato. Here is the recipe:
Take 2 cups of whole milk and infuse it with fresh rose petals. I infuse the milk for at least 2 weeks before I make it. The milk will take on a very light pink color, almost not visible. If you don't have fresh rose petal, rose preserves work but don't give you the scent of going fresh.
Heat the infused milk in a pan with 1 cup of sugar (preferably fine white) and 1/4 cup of powdered milk.
Most recipes call for 4 egg yolks but I prefer the creamy consistency so I use 8 egg yolks. Separate them and hand whisk until they're thick. If you use an electric mixer, don't overmix.
Add the HALF of the hot milk mixture to the eggs, slowly. Whisk constantly to blend it all nicely.
Once that hot milk mixture and egg yolks are mixed, pour it all back into the remaining hot milk mixture in the pot. Mix it to a gravy-like consistency and keep mixing until your thermometer reads 170 degrees. Don't go hotter or colder.
Add a full cup of heavy whipping cream and mix gently. Then refridgerate the entire mixture for 48 hours.
To add rose texture, I use handy candied rose petals, about 1 cup. You can also buy these at the store. I chop them up into very thin strips (they'll look like little toothpicks almost) and throw them into the mixture.
Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker. As you watch it thicken, you can add honey slowly so it mixes into the gelato but doesn't blend. You'll get nice strips of honey to offset the bitter rose flavor.
After it's at the proper thickness, freeze the mixture for 48 hours, preferably at just under 60 degrees.
Serve as fast as possible from the freezer. If you have problems with the gelato sticking too much, you can try it again with a pinch of xanthan gum. This is effected by the temperature of your fridge, your ice cream maker and your freezer.
Yes, I love to cook. No, I'm not gay.