Decadent Italian desserts are very versatile, making for a beautiful ending to any simple pasta meal or elegant dinner party. With many of them boasting layers of custard and cake, making them at home can be tricky and time consuming. If you have an ice cream maker, though, you can whip up some traditional Italian gelato in no time at all. And once you have made Gelato, go over and check out Pastry Schools for more great desert recipes.
What You’ll Need
To create a delicious homemade gelato, you’ll need an ice cream maker. This is generally a large, thick bowl with liquid under the bowl’s interior surface. If you keep the bowl in your freezer, the liquid will become extremely cold. The ice cream maker will also have some sort of motor which will power a paddle that stirs your ice cream mixture. The cold liquid between the walls of the bowl will freeze the ice cream mixture and the paddle will stir the mixture so it stays soft. In addition to the ice cream maker, you’ll need your gelato ingredients � milk, cream, eggs, sugar, and whatever extras you want to add (such as fruit, nuts or chocolate), along with a saucepan for heating the mixture and a fine mesh strainer. If you don’t own an ice cream maker, you can check out a local cooking school, as many have them for rent.
How to Make Gelato
Your ice cream maker bowl needs to have been in the freezer for at least 24 hours prior to use to insure it will be cold enough to freeze the ice cream. In a saucepan, mix 1 cup of heavy cream with 2 cups of milk. The higher milk-to-cream ratio is what differentiates gelato from ice cream and also makes it lower in fat. Cook the milk and cream mixture begins to foam around the edges, remove from heat. In a large bowl, mix 1/2 cup sugar with 4 egg yolks until smooth. Slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the egg and sugar mixture and mix. Transfer the mixture back to the sauce pan and cook until the mixture gels. Remove from heat and pour mixture through your strainer back into the large bowl and cool – covered – for several hours. When the mixture is cool, it is ready to be prepared according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. If you’re adding extras like chocolate chunks or fruit, add these halfway through the freezing process. The gelato can be enjoyed immediate after the ice cream maker completes its cycle – if you like your dessert a little softer. Otherwise, freeze in a sealed container for at least two hours.