Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Strawberry Vanilla Gelato

I wanted to make a special treat for my dad for father's day and I know that he loves Rum Raisin Ice Cream.  However...I didn't have any rum and I didn't have any raisins.  Was I going to let that stop me from making Rum raisin Ice Cream?  Yes.  Instead, I happened to have a whole vanilla bean and a boatload of fresh strawberries that needed to be used.  Strawberry Vanilla Gelato!!  You're welcome dad!  The smooth depth of the whole vanilla beans and the sharpness of the strawberries blend together for a great balance.  I tend to think of ice cream on one end and water ice on the other end with gelato in the middle.  It is a nice balance of creaminess and fruit forward freshness.  This was a very fun treat and if you like to make things from scratch and enjoy some mindless kitchen activity, you really should give this a try.  It had a real "wow" factor when you serve it and you will love it too! 
Strawberry Vanilla Gelato
4 cups half and half
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tbs. corn starch
1 pint strawberries
1 vanilla bean
1. Combine sugar, corn starch, whole vanilla bean, and half and half in a heavy bottom pot. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes until the milk begins to bubble and the mixture thickens.
2.  Remove the bean, slice it open, and scrape out the seeds.  Add the seeds back to the hot milk.
3.  Whisk together and remove the hot milk from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
4.  Prep a bowl full of ice and then place another bowl on top.  This will help cool down the gelato even faster.
You can see how the gelato has thickened and the vanilla bean seeds.  Yum!
5.  Puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor until smooth.  You can strain them if you don't want any strawberry seeds, but I don't strain it.
6.  Pour the milk into the col glass bowl and add the strawberry puree.  Stir together until well combined.
Notice the beautiful color.
7.  If you have an ice cream maker, you can go to town from here, but if not, follow these steps.  Pour the gelato into a large caserole dish to freezer (this will help it freeze evenly).  Plus mine has a lid, which makes it even easier.
8.  After 3 hours, take it out and pulse the whole mixture around in the food processor.  Then return it to the dish in the freezer.
9.  Repeat step 8 two more times.  Then freeze until solid.  Now you have gelato.  I freeze it the final time in smaller comtainers that I am planning to give away to friends (and keep a hearty one for myself)!
I served it to Mark with a sprig of mint because he is very fancy.

One Year Ago: Steamed Fresh Artichokes
Two Years Ago: Grilled Clams with Lemon-Parsley Butter

1 comment:

  1. This was a delicious and wonderful treat. It made me forget about rum raisin ice cream. Great job! Dad