I’m swamped with work, trying to catch up after a week away, so tonight in true summer fashion, we’re going to have a repeat. But it’s a delicious repeat. Last year, friends lent me their Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker to test drive, so I spent a week making various frozen treats, testing them on all the neighbors (I was very popular that week) and posted the results. This summer I bought my own Cuisinart, so I thought it was time to pull out the recipes and make some ice cream and gelato. After all, it’s just been too hot to cook. Perfect time for frozen treats.
While Gelato is by far my favorite, I played no favorites and included ice cream and sorbet in the selection. These recipes all make between 1 and 1-1/2 quarts. Here’s the lineup:
Vanilla and Strawberry Ice Cream (recipes here)
Blueberry Sorbet (recipe here)
Chocolate-Hazelnut Gelato (recipe here)
What’s your recipe for fun this weekend? What delicious things are you cooking up for this final weekend of July (oh, how can that be)?
Now for the recipe that started the whole thing, the reason I borrowed my friends’ ice cream maker. A while back I was searching for gelato recipes and came across one for Key Lime Pie. It sounded awesome. I tucked it away, planning to try it someday. Someday finally came and I put my own twist on it:
Key Lime Pie Gelato
- Gelato Plain Base (recipe below)
- 1 graham cracker crust, broken into pieces and frozen (recipe below)
- 3 tbsps fresh lime juice, preferably Key lime*
- 2 tsp grated lime zest
Make the Gelato Plain Base and chill as directed. Make the graham cracker crust as directed and freeze.
To make Key Lime Gelato: Gently whisk the limejuice and zest into the base. Pour the mixture into the container of an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Just after churning quickly stir in the graham cracker crust pieces, reserving some for garnish. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.
*after you mix in the lime and zest, give it a taste and add more limejuice as desired. If you’re prefer it a bit more tangy, you can add up to 2 more tbsp without worrying about consistency.
Graham Cracker Crust
Note: You can substitute graham cracker pieces if you don’t want to make an actual crust. I just like the buttery flavor and texture of the actual crust in the gelato.
For the graham cracker crust: Mix 1/2 cup melted butter, 2 tbsp sugar and 2 cups graham cracker crumbs together. Press firmly onto the bottom of a well buttered 8×8 glass baking dish and bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes. Cool and remove from the baking dish, break into bite-size pieces and freeze in a covered container.
This recipe is the base for most gelatos, it’s also good frozen by itself:
Gelato di Crema (Gelato Plain Base)
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 large egg yolk
- 2/3 cup sugar
In a heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the milk and cream. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally so a skin doesn’t form, until tiny bubbles start to form around the edges and the mixture reaches a temperature of 170°F.
Meanwhile, in a medium heat-proof bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Gradually whisk in the sugar until it is well incorporated and the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Temper* the egg yolks by very slowly pouring in the hot milk mixture while whisking continuously. Return the custard to the saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and it reaches a temperature of 185°F. Do not bring to a boil.
*The best way to temper is to add a tablespoon at a time until you’ve added about 1/4 cup. Then you can add a full ladle at a time, slowly.
One final note. If you’re wondering what the difference is between Gelato, Sorbet and Ice Cream, click here for a pretty good explanation.