Bon Appétit (May 2009)
Knowing we would likely have an abundance of strawberries once temperatures started to climb, we dog-eared the Strawberry Gelato recipe in May's Bon Appétit, sure we would make it sometime this summer.
Last summer, we made a strawberry frozen yogurt that turned out very well. It had a strong and delicious yogurt-y flavor, but didn't hold up terribly well in our freezer. The first time we ate it, the texture was wonderful. But the second and third times (yes, believe it or not, we didn't eat it all in one sitting), it had become icy and almost chalky. Sure, it was still delicious, but just not what we were hoping for.
Was this Strawberry Gelato destined for the same fate?
For those not sure about the difference between ice cream and gelato (as we were not so long ago -- okay, 24 hours ago), ice cream has a higher ratio of heavy cream to whole milk. In this gelato recipe, you'll see that it calls for slightly more whole milk (1 cup) than cream (3/4 cup).
Other than that, the process for making a gelato is very similar to making ice cream. Make a base using cream, milk, sugar and corn starch. Once it cools, mix in pureed strawberries. This gelato receives an extra zip with a dose of pomegranate juice.
Once all that had chilled in the refrigerator for several hours, we froze it in our ice-cream maker. It's very easy to operate (and it wasn't expensive!). And we're always excited to use it.
We scooped the gelato out of the ice cream maker and put it in a plastic container to freeze. We decided to press a piece of plastic wrap flat against the gelato prior to putting the lid on.
And then we left it in the freezer -- for almost two weeks! We're not sure why, but we just didn't get back to eating it that week. Maybe we were too busy gorging on other strawberry dishes.
We had occasion to dig in soon enough, though. Our friends Regi and Kate, who had moved away from D.C. two year ago, moved back to town last weekend. We had them -- and their one-year-old baby boy -- over to catch up. It was a warm Sunday afternoon -- perfect for gelato!
And you know what? It was delicious. None of the consistency problems we had had with the strawberry yogurt last year. The gelato was creamy and rich, with a lovely strawberry flavor. (We all loved it, but the gelato was a special hit with Regi and Kate's kid! He couldn't get enough!)
Who knows? Maybe it's going to be a gelato summer!
Other frozen treats from The Bitten Word:
* 3/4 cup sugar (preferably organic)
* 1 tablespoon cornstarch
* 1 cup whole milk
* 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
* 2 1/4 cups sliced hulled strawberries
* 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
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. Cool over ice, stirring occasionally.
Puree strawberries in processor. Strain into gelato base. Mix in pomegranate juice. Chill 3 hours. Process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to container. Cover; freeze until firm, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.