I first tasted authentic gelato in a gelateria in Rome. It was a sensual experience I can't begin to describe. In the hands of experts it easily surpassed the best efforts of commercial parlors in the U.S. to duplicate it. I have a weakness for gelato that has fully developed fruit flavors. But I must admit that chocolate is without doubt the most popular flavor in many combinations. This is my own version of Roman style artisanal gelato that I love, as made at home: —pierino
Test Kitchen Notes
We used the full 18 ounces raspberries and were happy we strained the puree to remove the seeds. When we can't find fresh raspberries, we'll be following pierino's advice: "I see no reason you can’t use frozen fruit if you must but I would strain that before pureeing it. You don’t want to be adding water." And it's noted in the recipe, but it's worth repeating, for the best results, plan to eat this right from the machine, it won't be the same after freezing. —The Editors
16 to 18 ounces
whole milk (divided, 3 plus 1)
dry milk powder
kosher salt (do not use sea salt)
dextrose powder (optional)
In This Recipe
Depending on your ice cream maker, you may have to freeze the machine bowl overnight. Don’t forget to do this.
Using a food processor or blender puree the raspberries. Set those aside for the moment.
Have two good sized mixing bowls ready. One will sit inside the other. Fill the large bowl with ice (big enough to hold the second bowl) and set that aside.
Using the smaller bowl, whisk one cup milk with the corn starch to dissolve.
In another clean bowl, combine the sugar, milk powder, corn syrup, and salt with the remaining three cups milk. Whisk these and then in a deep saucepan heat the mix to the scalding point. Do not boil.
Add the contents of the other bowl (milk and cornstarch) to the saucepan. Bring back to heat until viscous (you want to make sure the starch is fully gelatinized).
Add this back to the smaller bowl and whisk in the berry puree and the dextrose powder if using. 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.
Just before 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. Serve immediately as gelato melts quickly.
Alas, true gelato does not store well for very long even in the freezer. I would recommend using insulated ice cream tubs which are long and narrow. Before sealing the tub add a layer of plastic wrap which will help inhibit the formation of ice crystals on top of the good stuff. Even so, two days is about as long as it will keep in decent condition. After that it’s fine to eat but you might as well be having ice cream.
Standup commis flâneur, and food historian. Pierino's background is in Italian and Spanish cooking but of late he's focused on frozen desserts. He is now finishing his cookbook, MALAVIDA! Can it get worse? Yes, it can. Visit the Malavida Brass Knuckle cooking page at Facebook and your posts are welcome there.