On a trip to Rome, I had tried the rosemary honey & lemon gelato at Gelateria del Teatro and was blown away by the flavor. The rosemary was an unexpected first note that mellowed out with the honey and lemon in a way that was completely and perfectly balanced. I think I actually stopped walking several times because I was just enjoying the gelato so much. It was so good we went back for a second round after returning from the Vatican!
I knew I had to try to recreate it when I got home, and I've based this recipe off of Jeni's frozen yogurt base. I love how the addition of the Greek yogurt adds a dimension of tanginess to the whole frozen concoction. —Joy Huang | The Cooking of Joy
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: The Cooking of Joy is a Taiwanese-American who is trying to cook just like her mom.
WHAT: A tart, herbaceous frozen dessert that tastes like Tuscany.
HOW: Steep your rosemary and lemon in boiled milk; combine it with a cornstarch slurry; mix in your cream cheese and yogurt; and spin it in your ice cream maker.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The balance between the yogurt, lemon, and rosemary is perfect here; it at once feels virtuous and indulgent. We can't wait to make it again. Note: don't be nervous while boiling the corn syrup, honey, milk and cream; once you add the cornstarch slurry, it will thicken up fantastically. —The Editors
- Makes about 1 quart
1 1/2 cups
cream cheese, softened
honey, plus more to taste
light corn syrup
sprigs fresh rosemary
Zest from half a lemon, peeled in wide strips using a vegetable peeler
1 1/4 cups
Greek yogurt (I used 2% low fat, but I think nonfat and regular would work fine)
- Mix about 3 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
- Combine the remaining milk, cream, honey, and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from heat, add the rosemary and lemon zest, and let steep for 20 minutes.
- Remove the rosemary and zest with a slotted spoon. Taste the mixture; if it's not sweet enough, add some more honey (I ended up adding about another tablespoon). Gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture and return the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Add the yogurt and blend well.
- Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
- Pour the frozen yogurt base into the frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy.
- Pack the frozen yogurt into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.