Make Ahead

Fresh Ricotta Ice Cream

August 21, 2012
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

I often dream of the first time I had ricotta gelato from Grom in Florence, Italy. I was in gelato nirvana. Over the years, I've tried a number of recipes in an attempt to experience that feeling at home. Even the recipe from Ici in California that gets rave reviews did not do it for me. One day I stumbled upon a Gourmet recipe for a Watermelon Sundae that cleverly combined a rich ricotta ice cream and icy-cold watermelon. I immediately made the ice cream and after a few tweaks, I finally found the texture and flavor similar to what I had experienced at Grom. The addition of a little more cream and candied citrus peels (orange, citron, lemon) was the trick. The Grom version did not have chocolate or pistachios but these addtions make for an even more delicious, cannoli- like ice cream. I've made this with homemade ricotta, a good store-bought ricotta and even a fresh sheep's milk ricotta. The sheep's milk ricotta gives the closest taste to Grom's. Note that no cooking is required for this recipe. —PRST

Test Kitchen Notes

Just by looking at the ingredients in this recipe I was intrigued. I was imagining the taste of a cannoli, and after making the recipe I was not disappointed. The ricotta taste really came through, while the addition of the heavy cream made it smooth and rich. I really enjoyed the hint of lemon -- it was just enough. It was also super easy putting all of the ingredients together. I give it 3 thumbs up: 1 for me, 1 for my husband and 1 for my son! —baker23

  • Makes 1 scant quart
  • 1 2/3 cups fresh, whole milk ricotta
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, freshly grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped candied citrus peel (a combination of orange, lemon and citron)
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped pistachios
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped bittersweet chocolate
In This Recipe
  1. Blend cheeses, milk, sugar, rum, zest, vanilla and salt in a blender until smooth. Add cream and blend until just combined.
  2. Freeze mixture in an ice cream maker, adding candied citrus peels, chocolate and pistachios at the end. Mix until just incorporated. Transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden. Allow to sit a few minutes to soften before scooping!
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