Monday, September 15, 2008

Homemade Gelato and Ice Cream

When my husband and I went to Ireland last year, we fell in love with gelato. There was a place near my sister's apartment where you could get the biggest serving of gelato for hardly any money. We made a bad habit of going there a few times a week (we were there for 5 weeks) and trying out the different flavors. Absolutely delicious!

I still dream about the gelato, particularly the hazelnut and chocolate flavors (the two I finally settled on as the best). I decided to make my own the other day, and it turned out so well I didn't even get a picture of it (my husband and I devoured it)!

A few days later I made some mint cookies 'n cream ice cream (my favorite ice cream flavor). The ice cream was good, but it did not compare to the gelato I made. The gelato was so much more creamy and smooth. The key ingredient for the gelato - egg yolks. I will definitely use the gelato recipe below as my base and experiment from there.


2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup
4 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a saucepan combine the milk, cream, and 1/2 cup sugar over medium heat. Cook until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whip the egg yolks with the remaining sugar using an electric mixer until the eggs have become thick and pale yellow, about 4 minutes. Pour 1/2 cup of the warm milk and cream mixture into the egg mixture and stir. Add this mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Place a strainer over a medium bowl and pour the warm custard mixture through the strainer. Stir in the vanilla. Chill mixture completely before pouring into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's instructions to freeze. To serve, scoop gelato into serving bowls.

For chocolate hazelnut gelato, add 1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (I used Nutella) when adding the vanilla and stir until completely dissolved. Follow the directions accordingly.

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