With the weather warming up, we're thinking about making gorgeous gelato at home, so we asked our friend Sophia from Nonna's Gelato to show us how it's done.
Some people think that gelato is just the Italian word for ice cream, but it isn’t. Gelato is so much better! Gelato is lighter than ice cream, as it traditionally contains milk rather than cream, and generally has only 4-8% fat compared to a minimum of 10% in ice cream. Air is a key factor in the churning stage – gelato tends to contain less air or “overrun”, as it’s called in the business, which gives you a much denser and intensely flavoured scoop.
Unlike conventional ice cream, you don’t need to use eggs, which means that gelato is really easy to make at home. Here is our recipe for the traditional Italian flavour Fior di Latte, which translates to “flower of milk”. It’s a delicious milk gelato which we like to describe as the ultimate Mr. Whippy!
You’ll need an ice cream machine (don’t worry, not a professional one), a probe thermometer and a hand blender. Tip: if you’re using a pre-freeze ice cream machine, make sure you’ve put the freezer bowl in the freezer at least the night before.
HOW TO MAKE GELATO
Makes about 1 litre
650ml whole milk
120ml double cream
180g unrefined sugar
45g skimmed milk powder
1 teaspoon cornflour
- Place the milk and cream in a saucepan over a medium heat. While it’s warming, place the sugar, skimmed milk powder and cornflour in a measuring jug and mix well.
- Using a probe thermometer, measure the temperature of the milk and cream. When it reaches 40ºC, add the dry ingredients. Whisk together and stir continuously with a spatula until it reaches 85ºC.
- Fill the sink with ice and cold water to create an ice bath. Plunge the saucepan into the ice bath and stir occasionally. You need to bring the temperature down to 10ºC within 30 minutes.
- When the mix is cooled, place in a sealed container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
- You’re now ready to churn it into gelato. Start by passing it through a fine sieve.
- Blitz with a hand blender.
- Pour into your ice cream machine and churn until frozen.
- Scoop your freshly churned gelato into a container and cover with greaseproof paper and a tight fitting lid. Place in the freezer and consume within one month.
The great thing about Fior di Latte is that it serves as the base for many other flavours. For example, to make a classic vanilla, simply infuse a vanilla pod in your mix while pasteurising on the hob, and sieve it out at stage six.
The same can be done with mint leaves, then just throw some chocolate chips in towards the end of the churn and you’ve got yourself a refreshing mint, choc chip gelato!
You could add a ripple to your batch too – Jamie’s recipe for dulce de leche would work perfectly, or incorporate your gelato into a classic pudding like Eton mess.