No matter what time of year it is I LOVE ice cream, and I make it often! This Gelato was a delicious twist on tradition ice cream, and was the PERFECT accompaniment to my World’s Best Chocolate Cake that I made for my youngest son’s first birthday. Really, I could eat this cake & gelato EVERYDAY!! 🙂
If you are convinced that making ice cream or gelato is too hard, I hope this post will convince you otherwise OR this questionable list of ingredients contained in store bough ice cream will scare you in to making your own:
Blue Bell Vanila Ice Cream Ingredients: Milk, Cream, Sugar, Skim Milk, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Natural And Artificial Vanilla Flavor, Cellulose Gum, Vegetable Gums (Guar, Carrageenan, Carob Bean), Salt, Annatto Color.
I think I will pass on the HFCS, artificial flavor and all of the other junk! Let me show you how to make a lower carb version with REAL ingredients and LOTS of flavor!
How to make Gelato
Gelato is a thick and rich Italian version of ice cream. Here are some of the differences that make it DIVINE:
- Gelato uses more milk than cream. This makes gelato not only lower in fat (not that I care about the fat), but making gelato doesn’t require as low of a temperature to freeze as ice cream does. This makes it more pliable and quicker to melt on your tongue. Source
- Gelato is also more dense and has less air incorporated it. Typically, this means using a different vessel to make gelato but with this recipe, I think we can get around not having a gelato maker.
I researched this topic for a while and there are TONS of information about making the perfect gelato. Check out this link for more information.
I don’t have a gelato maker but I used my compressor ice cream maker and I LOVE IT! No bowls to freeze or rock salt to deal with. Other great ice cream makers are the Cuisinart 1-1/2-Quart Ice Cream Maker (under $50) or the Electric Ice Cream Maker. (I have all 3 of these ice cream makers!) You could even make ice cream or this gelato without any type of ice cream maker. Check out this post for more instructions (It really does work)!
When I purchased this compressor run ice cream maker last year I really meant to purchase this gelato/ice cream maker. It comes with a different paddle for making gelato which incorporates less air. Since I didn’t have an official gelato maker, I just simply removed the gelato from the ice cream maker before it completely firmed up which really just meant less air in the final product. I put the half frozen milk and egg mixture into a freezer safe container and let it firm up for a few hours. The result, delicious and thick gelato!
If you are serious about making ice cream or gelato, I HIGHLY recommend getting one that runs off of a compressor so you don’t have to worry about freezing a bowl or using rock salt! It’s perfect for Summer time! I am officially spoiled to instant homemade ice cream now!
I think what makes this gelato so good is not only did I use fresh milk, but I added my homemade vanilla extract. Since I was at the bottom of my jar, I was able to get some of the actual vanilla specks in the ice cream. Not required but delicious and visually beautiful! I was hoping the alcohol from the vanilla extract would keep the gelato soft even after freezing overnight but it didn’t.
You may wonder why I made such a large batch. My thoughts are that it is just as easy to make a large batch than a small one. You can always refrigerate (or even freeze) half of this recipe for a later day but I am pretty certain it won’t last but a few days in the fridge. Feel free to half this recipe but you are going to regret it, I promise! 🙂
I think you can use this recipe as a great base for many variations such as lemon, strawberry, almond (use almond extract) or any of the other yummy varieties you have tried at Whole Foods!
For Dairy-Free: Use canned coconut milk in the milk and/or cream. I am sure true Italians wouldn’t call it gelato but I would still call it good! 🙂
*Note about Sweeteners: I used Stevia Select Stevia to sweeten this Gelato. Everyone’s pallet will respond differently to the taste of stevia and the last thing you want to do is add too much and make your Gelato bitter. Remember, you can use ANY sweetener you choose in all of my recipes, especially this one. If you are using a granular sweetener like coconut sugar or xylitol, be sure to add it when the mixture is cooking so that it dissolves easily. Stevia is added at the very end because the sweetness of stevia can sometimes cookout.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream or Gelato??
Enjoy this lower carb version of a classic Italian treat!
In a medium bowl, add egg yolks and salt. Whisk for about 2 minutes or until thick. Set aside.
In a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium heat, add milk, vanilla bean and pod. Warm milk to scalding (little bubbles will form on side of the pot). Temper the egg yolks by whisking 1/2 cup of the scaled milk into the egg yolks. Pour the egg and milk mixture back to the pot with the milk. Over medium-low heat stir egg and milk mixture until thickened which should take about 8-10 minutes. Once thick, turn off heat and whisk in cream, vanilla and sweetener. Taste for sweetness and adjust if needed. Pour mixture into a bowl and refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight.
Remove the vanilla bean and pour half of the chilled mixture into your ice cream or gelato maker (refrigerate the other half of the mixture for up to 3 days). If using a regular ice cream maker, let the maker run until the gelato mixture starts to thicken but is not stiff. Transfer thickened mixture to freezer safe bowl with lid and freeze for 3-4 hours or until gelato sets up. If frozen overnight, leave hardened gelato at room temperature for 30-60 minutes (depending on the room temperature) until softened enough to scoop.
NOTE: Feel free to leave the mixture in your ice cream maker for the full time or until the mixture is very thick. This will be more like ice cream but still delicious!
Enjoy plain, with fresh fruit, chocolate chips or with my World's Best Chocolate Cake!
Nutrition: 125 Calories, 10 grams Fat, 6.5 Net Carbs, 4 grams Protein (including honey) per half cup serving.