11 July 2011

Strawberry Gelato

This weekend I made Strawberry Gelato! Making gelato and sorbetto is so much fun. It's so relaxing, believe it or not. To watch the vanilla beans float in the milk, or roasting macadamia nuts, or when churning a batch - round and round. I have yet to feel frustrated or anything other than delight when making a frozen sweet. And it can be really rewarding to watching loved ones enjoy your finished product.

The best gelato, in my opinion, is made with the best ingredients you can afford. Personally I like brown cage -free eggs, that's not to say that I haven't used regular white eggs. And organic whole milk will be the best for gelato, but regular whole milk will do just fine. Don't get hung up on the ingredients. Obviously they will make the taste of the gelato but there's really no reason to stress. This is supposed to be fun! The first time I used my ice cream machine ( a Christmas gift) I made a canned ice cream mix (also a Christmas gift lol). It tasted great but I knew after that I could do it and do it better. Each time you make a batch you become more and more confident in your abilities. And it always helps to have supportive people around you to. Constructive criticism is a must though.

2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1-2 vanilla beans
1-1 1/2 pints macerated strawberries

Put milk and heavy cream in pot on medium heat. Scrap vanilla beans out of pod and set aside. Put the vanilla pods in the with milk and cream, heat to 170 degrees stirring often so a skin doesn't form. Seperate eggs, keeping egg yolks. Mix with sugar and eggs, whip till fluffy, add vanilla beans. When milk and cream mixture has reached temperature remove from heat, remove vanilla pods and temper egg/sugar mixture. Return tempered eggs to pot and heat until 185 degrees. Remove from heat and pour into a heatsafe container. Let cool to room temperature before placing in fridge.
So I know my Swanky's cup isn't the most heat safe container but its really convenient when pouring the mix into the ice cream machine and it always reminds me of the lunch we had with my mom and sister.

While vanilla gelato base is cooling work on your strawberries. In a food processor or blender puree strawberries until they are smooth. Its your preference whether or not you strain the strawberry puree of seeds. Refridgerate both vanilla base and strawberry puree.

When strawberry and vanilla conatiners have been chilled 4 hours to overnight they are ready for the next step. There are two options for the gelato: 1) In a large bowl or pitcher mix the vanilla base and strawberry puree together until it is well incorporated. Then follow your ice cream machines directions to churn. OR 2) Follow your ice cream machines directions to churn the vanilla base until starts to get firm and drizzle in about a cup of the strawberry puree making ribbons of strawberries in the vanilla. I would suggest first time or novice gelato makers to take the first option. It can be hard to know when the right time is to pour in the strawberry puree if you haven't seen the churning process in action before. Either way you try it this is no doubt a very tasty Vanilla Strawberry gelato!!

Have a sweet and tasty day, and thanks for stopping by!