Make Ahead

Black Plum Black Pepper Gelato

August  3, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves about 5 cups
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. - gingerroot —gingerroot

Test Kitchen Notes

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. - Lauren —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • fiveandspice
  • Lori Lyn Narlock
    Lori Lyn Narlock
  • WinnieAb
  • Sagegreen
  • TheWimpyVegetarian

Recipe by: gingerroot

My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love. Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.

14 Reviews

fiveandspice August 23, 2012
Oh heavens, this looks wonderful! So flavorful and elegant!
gingerroot August 24, 2012
Thank you, Em! I love the spiciness from the black pepper.
Lori L. August 4, 2010
This just caught my eye and it looks fantastic. I am going to try it this weekend!
gingerroot August 4, 2010
Thanks! Let me know what you think.
WinnieAb August 4, 2010
This sounds really terrific!
gingerroot August 4, 2010
Thanks, WinnieAb!
Sagegreen August 3, 2010
Gorgeous! And what a great partnership of ingredients. You inspire me to look for a sale on ice cream makers.
gingerroot August 3, 2010
Thanks so much, Sagegreen!
TheWimpyVegetarian August 3, 2010
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!
drbabs August 3, 2010
why, thank you chezsuzanne! Plum ice cream sounds yummy--I hope you make it! (I think this gelato sounds fabulous, too!)
gingerroot August 3, 2010
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!
TheWimpyVegetarian August 3, 2010
Thank you ladies! I'm going to try to make something tomorrow now that I'm back home to my ice cream maker!
aargersi August 3, 2010
Wow. This looks amazing. I may actually get the ice cream maker out for once in my life so I can try this ...
gingerroot August 3, 2010
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! : )