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Author Notes: Among the pleasures of late summer are ripe stone fruits; apricots, peaches and cherries. All of which can make the foundation of great gelato and sorbeto. We are going with cherries here but the principle recipe can be used for any of these. Many recipes for gelato begin with a crème anglaise. Personally, I don’t think the eggs are absolutely necessary. The smoothness and elasticity and creaminess matter more. This recipe accomplishes that I believe, but I continue to experiment and will be writing more on the subject soon. For now try this out.
- 4 cups whole milk (divided, 3 plus 1)
- Enough pitted cherries to yield 1 1/4 cup puree. You will need about 2 1/4/ cups to begin with. Use more if necessary.
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- 1/4 cup dry milk powder
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (do not use sea salt)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Amarena cherries in syrup*; allow one serving spoon per portion of gelato.
- Using a small food processor chop the pitted cherries until you have a coarse puree. Set aside.
- Fill a large bowl with ice (big enough to hold the second bowl)
- Using the smaller bowl, whisk one cup milk with the corn starch to dissolve.
- Combine the sugar, milk powder, corn syrup and salt with the remaining three cups milk in a deep sauce pan and heat to the scalding point. Do not boil.
- Add the contents of the other bowl to this. Bring back to heat until viscous.
- Add this back to the smaller bowl and whisk in the cherry puree. Allow to cool down nested in the ice bowl. Cover and seal and hold in the refrigerator for at least four hours, or better still overnight.
- Depending on your ice cream maker you may have to freeze the machine bowl overnight. Don’t forget to do this.
- On the day you are ready to make your gelato add the heavy cream and honey to the milk/fruit blend. Whisk together and pour into the frozen bowl of the machine which you have already fitted with the dasher. Run the machine until you have a nice texture, perhaps as long as 20 or 25 minutes depending on the machine.
- Scoop into serving bowls and top each portion with the amarena cherries. This will heighten the sweetness.
- Amarena cherries can be found in Italian specialty shops and many supermarkets.. They are a product of the Bologna area. Italian maraschinos are a good substitute, e.g. Luxardo. American maraschino are a poor imitation of the real thing.