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
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)
In This Recipe
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.