Fresh Strawberry Gelato

Today’s post marks another first for me, my attempt at gelato/ice cream. There is a difference between ice cream and gelato: ice cream contains a higher ratio of cream to milk than gelato does. Here I was thinking the reverse all these years (that gelato was the richer of the two). When they say “ice cream”, they really should emphasize that there’s a whole lotta’ cream going on in ice cream, whole milk (not to mention sugar and eggs).

After consulting the opinions of some foodie friends and some of my own consumer research, I opted for the Cuisinart Ice-30 Ice Cream Maker. This sleek beauty also makes frozen yogurt, sorbets and gelato. I purchased this appliance as the reviews were mostly positive: performs as it should (reliable), easy to use, manual includes some base recipes, good value for price, reliable brand in Cuisinart and it looks damn good!

The other reason I bought the Ice-30 is that it makes up to 2 quarts of ice cream etal. I did not want to limited to making such small batches with some of the other smaller models. The only bummer with this and many other home ice-cream makers is that one has to place the freezer bowl in the freezer, ideally over night before commencing making your ice-cream making journey.

Making ice cream is not the 25 minute task as advertised by many but rather some planning is required (pre-freezing the freezer bowl), making and chilling the custard and preparing your flavouring (such as fruits). It’s still easy making your own ice cream, etc, you know what you’re getting in your scoop, perhaps you won’t indulge in a large bowl knowing all the richness (and goodness) that goes into it and you can make the flavours YOU want. You’re not limited to just the flavours offered at your parlour or at the market.

I’m not sure of the economics of buying an ice cream maker and the cost to make a batch and whether it’s cheaper to just buy a tub but the personal satisfaction of creating your own is the intangible…I’m delighted to add ice cream and gelato to my culinary repertoire.

I have a long list of flavours I want to try to make – some classics and some flavours influenced by Greek cuisine and the flavours found in many Greek desserts and treats. It would have been silly of me to jump right to making a flavour that’s more involved. I opted for one of the primary flavours (strawberry, vanilla, chocolate) and finally chose to make a strawberry gelato.

Upon looking at both collections of recipes (for strawberry ice cream and gelato) I noticed how the ice cream recipes all contained more cream than gelato and many recipes also contained eggs. The gelato recipes are a little leaner and after tasting my finished product, I’m mostly satisfied with the flavour I achieved with my finished result.

It’s strawberry season and you’re going to need ripe, red ones. Those of you who are frugal could also use those “reduced to clear” strawberries that will be very ripe and easy on your pocket book. Throw in some sugar, whole milk, some cream and some pomegranate juice for natural colouring, and you’re well on your way to making some strawberry gelato.

There were many recipes I could have chosen, I opted for Bon Apetit’s (2009)Fresh Strawberry Gelato recipe, as provided Katrina and Carmelo Turillo. Click on the article about them as they also go into further detail about the differences between gelato and ice cream and their philosophy on making it.

In the meantime, I’m set. The summer is upon us, I can (and will) make my own gelato when and how I want.

Fresh Strawberry Gelato

(recipe adapted from Bon Appetit (2009)

1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup whole milk (homogenized)
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 1/4 cups sliced hulled strawberries
2 tablespoons pomegranate juice (a natural colouring)
+ 1/2 cup thinly sliced strawberries (to be added at the end)
  1. The evening before, place your freezer bowl in the freezer overnight (or the minimum required by your ice cream maker brand).
  2. Stir sugar and cornstarch in heavy medium saucepan. Whisk in milk and cream. Whisk over medium heat until gelato base thickens and begins to bubble, about 5 minutes. Pour into bowl and place over another bowl filled with ice.
  3. Puree strawberries in processor. Strain into gelato base. Mix in pomegranate juice. Chill for 3 hours in the fridge. Process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions (mine churned for 25 minutes). Add the sliced strawberries into the churning ice cream at the last five minutes.
  4. Transfer to container. Cover; freeze until firm, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.

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© 2007-2010 Peter Minakis

© 2010,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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35 Comments for “Fresh Strawberry Gelato”

says:

how interesting! I made arabic ice-cream with cornstarch and sahlep too; so clever to use pomegranate for color and a taste add-on; love a recipe for ice-cream without eggs!

says:

Mmmm…i was under the impression that gelato had no dairy but I think I’m confusing it with sorbet! Whatever the process I do love this Peter. Especially the idea of using pomegranate juice for colouring. Nicely done!

says:

Nice ice cream maker – and nice ice cream. I’m still using a hand-cranked ice cream maker that I bought nearly 30 years ago. But then again if it was too easy, I’d be making it more often than I should.

says:

The flavour alone is worth the added expense of an ice cream maker. There is nothing like homemade it seems. K-town finally ventired into this century and we can now get Greek yogurt so I am going to venture into frozen yogirt:D

says:

i like that you used pomegrenate juice instead of some artificial red dye!! (then again, i wouldnt had expected you to use the latter :) )
maybe next time you can make mastic flavoured ice cream or gelato :)

says:

Gelato is the perfect summer treat. I will be making it all summer long. Adding this one to my list. Looks great Peter!

says:

Ooooh curse you and your fancy ice cream maker ;P!! I want one of those bad boys soooo bad! Next up, baklava ice cream? ;)

says:

They do last a long time though – still using my ice cream maker nearly 20 years later so over time is a good saving. Besides that though you can’t buy any ice cream that tastes as fresh or flavourful as the ones you can make. Orange ice cream was my first – couldn’t believe how good it was. Never looked back.

If you don’t want the hassle of making custard you can go a for a philadelphia style recipe – higher sugar content means the ice cream stays soft, so it’s cream, milk, sugar, flavouring.

says:

Oh, this looks fabulous, Peter! Congrats on your new purchase, too. You’re going to have a great summer of ice cream!

says:

That bowl of gelato looks really inviting. I agree with you that gelato is better and leaner.. just made some gelato too.. it’s really hot and a great time for this yummy treat.

says:

I’ve had my eye on that very same ice-cream maker for some time now, but I guess I’ll wait until it’s summer again in my part of the world. I prefer gelato to ice-cream, it always feels smoother and more luxurious to me and I must say your homemade strawberry version looks divine.

Great blog by the way.

ELENA

says:

Μας δρόσισες με νόστιμο τρόπο Peter!!!
Καλή βδομάδα!

says:

yes you got the super deluxe ice cream maker; the good one!
you will have fun with that baby.
can’t wait to see the creations you make.

says:

YUM! I have this ice cream maker. I have two other smaller ones, too. Silly, eh? This one I bought – the other two were gifts and neither of them plugs in… both make only 1 litre – but it is a heck of a lotta fun to have three when preparing for a party a couple of days in advance. The one you have is my favourite… but still not as good as what i can make using my Thermomix. I hardly use my ice cream maker anymore, as with the Thermomix, it is mainly frozen fruit, a little cream and sugar and deadly delicious. But, I do love a custard – and I love gelato. So, time to get it out. Thanks for the recipe. I can see it works and it looks really yummy!
:)
Valerie

says:

I love anything with a fresh strawberry taste and gelato is sure to please anyone. What a great choice for an ice cream maker.

says:

i was surprised to read that this is your gelato debut–it looks perfect! i foresee many, many more fabulous frozen foods coming from you. :)

says:

Looks good. I can’t wait to see your upcoming Greek-inspired creations.

Growing up, I thought Ice cream and gelato were interchangable. The latter was just the Italian word for the former – or at least that’s what I learned in high school Italian class. I guess I had a lot of foodie training awaiting me.

Ice cream makers are definitely not about economy, but making ice cream is about fun and creativity!

says:

Oooh I am a major fan of anything Cuisinart – Fantastic products! Now I’m loving this strawberry gelato! – looks deeelish :)

says:

“megeia”! looks great, but it must take up loads of space on the freezer. I love strawberry ice cream, it is such a yummy classic flavour and this is definitely the season to make it. I haven’t tried making ice cream without a custard base as I am always afraid it will not be as soft and creamy.

says:

I don’t care if its cheaper or more expensive to make my own ice cream & gelato, I just know my homemade tastes so good & its so fun to play with flavors. Though I do have to admit a basic strawberry has always been my favorite.

says:

Yay! That’s the same maker I have! I look forward to all your future frozen wonders! I have lots of recipes listed on my blog, if you are looking for some.

says:

I can only imagine the temptation that comes with the ability to make double the amount of ice cream than my little “regular” machine… I might not ever eat anything else! ;)

says:

I have the Kitchenaid ice cream bowl that attaches to my stand mixer, just because I have so relatively little counter space, and I keep it in a freezer all the time. I’ve never made gelato, but I make a lot of ice cream and sherbet. If you like lemon sherbet, you’d love it homemade. There’s nothing like it in a hot summer day!

says:

This sounds really great. I love making ice cream/gelato’s in my ice cream maker. The only thing I don’t like about most ice cream makers is they can be loud. Is yours loud?

says:

Ooooh, that looks great Peter! I haven’t invested in an ice cream maker. But I inadvertently made a strawberry ice cream last month after a strawberry cardamom custard I was making went amiss … stuck the mixture into the freezer and voila!!

The pomegranate juice is a very good idea!

says:

Delicious looking gelato, Peter! Strawberry is my favorite of the “primary” ice cream flavors. I just used my ice cream maker yesterday to make some vanilla bean. I think it ended up costing the same as buying it in the store but it tastes much better and I know exactly what went into it. :)