Black Plum Black Pepper Gelato

By • August 3, 2010 14 Comments

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Author Notes: Inspired by two of my favorite aromas and flavors in red wine, black plum and black pepper, (Jenny’s recent post reintroducing hope.thurman’s lovely sorbet confirmed that black pepper in a sweet frozen confection was not ludicrous), while this tastes nothing like my favorite glass of red, it is equally pleasurable. I love that, like wine, you do not know what it will taste like based on appearance; while the plum provides a big fruit forward first impression, the black pepper leaves a surprising spicy whisper that lingers on your palate. - gingerrootgingerroot

Food52 Review: Because it uses no cream or egg yolks, this plum gelato is light and creamy, perfect for a summer evening. Crushed black pepper adds a touch of spice and a healthy dose of creme fraiche makes this gelato quite tangy, so add to taste if you're looking for a fruitier treat. - LaurenThe Editors

Serves about 5 cups

  • 5 ripe but firm black plums, halved, de-stoned and chopped (I had a little more than 4 cups)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups + 2 Tablespoon(s) whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons whole Tellicherry black peppercorns, finely crushed with mortar and pestle
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 5 tablespoons crème fraiche
  1. Combine chopped fruit, water and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, until plum skins begin to peel from fruit, mixture changes color to pink and becomes thick and jammy, about 15 minutes. Transfer mixture to glass bowl or container (like a quart sized Pyrex measure) and let cool. Once cool, cover with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator. Chill until cold, at least three hours or overnight.
  2. In another saucepan, combine milk and crushed black pepper; allow mixture to steam over low heat, about 5-7 minutes (shorter or longer depending on range). Meanwhile, make slurry by combining cornstarch and remaining 2 T of milk, stirring well to combine thoroughly. Once milk/pepper mixture has steamed, whisk in slurry, stirring continuously until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.
  3. Strain thickened milk mixture through sieve into a glass bowl or large measuring cup. Press down on black pepper solids, to allow the finest grains to absorb into milk mixture. It should look like vanilla bean seeds in your milk mixture. This will also ensure that there are no lumps from the cornstarch. Allow mixture to cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least three hours or overnight.
  4. When ready to make gelato, combine chilled plums, chilled milk, and crème fraiche in a blender. Puree to combine. Pour into base of ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions. After 40 minutes, mixture should still be soft; transfer to airtight container and freeze longer for a firmer gelato.

Tags: gelato, Summer, sweet and savory

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Comments (14) Questions (0)


almost 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Oh heavens, this looks wonderful! So flavorful and elegant!


almost 3 years ago gingerroot

Thank you, Em! I love the spiciness from the black pepper.


almost 5 years ago lorinarlock

This just caught my eye and it looks fantastic. I am going to try it this weekend!


almost 5 years ago gingerroot

Thanks! Let me know what you think.


almost 5 years ago WinnieAb

This sounds really terrific!


almost 5 years ago gingerroot

Thanks, WinnieAb!


about 5 years ago Sagegreen

Gorgeous! And what a great partnership of ingredients. You inspire me to look for a sale on ice cream makers.


about 5 years ago gingerroot

Thanks so much, Sagegreen!

about 5 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

This looks great!! I've been traveling this week and going back home today. I was planning on making a plum sorbet and plum ice cream for possible submissions, but I don't think anything I make would be more interesting that this and drbabs sorbet! This rocks!


about 5 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

why, thank you chezsuzanne! Plum ice cream sounds yummy--I hope you make it! (I think this gelato sounds fabulous, too!)


about 5 years ago gingerroot

Thanks so much, ChezSuzanne! Please add your plum ice cream - one thing I love most about food52 is how one ingredient can inspire so many different, interesting recipes.

drbabs, your plum prosecco sorbet sounds amazing!

about 5 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thank you ladies! I'm going to try to make something tomorrow now that I'm back home to my ice cream maker!


about 5 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Wow. This looks amazing. I may actually get the ice cream maker out for once in my life so I can try this ...


about 5 years ago gingerroot

Thanks, aargersi! I have had my ice cream maker since I got married ten years ago and it has collected dust until I discovered this vibrant little community. It is ironic then that so many of my recipes on here are frozen - but I love the way a sorbet or ice cream is a vehicle for unusual flavor pairings in a refreshing, surprising way. Time to break out your ice cream maker! : )