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.
Fresh Strawberry Gelato
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)
- The evening before, place your freezer bowl in the freezer overnight (or the minimum required by your ice cream maker brand).
- 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.
- 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.
- Transfer to container. Cover; freeze until firm, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.
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