No contest here! Keep your doughnuts, cookies, cupcakes, and confections. I think gelato should be considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World! There I said it – I admit it – I cop to it – I plead guilty guilty guilty! I am a Gelato Addict! To me, there isn’t any sweet thing better or more satisfying than this frozen work of nature – or should I say “work of my ice cream machine”. I have long been a fan of ice cream, but Gelato with it’s denser, creamier consistency – the way it lays on the tongue just a little bit longer than its frozen counterparts – wins me over every time.
With the 4th of July soon upon us and looking ahead to a long hot summer, Ginger Gelato is the perfect little number to top off your barbeques and gatherings. The ginger flavor is subtle, as we use the sweet and mild candied or crystallized ginger to coax a little underlying spice to anchor this recipe. You can find candied/crystallized ginger quite readily at your markets usually in the spice department – but also Melissa’s can be found in the produce section and the pieces are usually quite large with this brand. If you want an exceptional treat and would like to make your own candied ginger, Sumptuous Spoonfuls has a terrific recipe for this. As an added benefit, ginger has long been known to be a stomach soother. What could be a better ending to a heavy meal or barbeque than a little scoop of something that makes your tummy go “Ahhhh”!
Tips: Take your time making the custard. If you try to rush it with too high a heat, you can cause curdling. Use a medium-low heat and be patient, stirring often.Make your custard (base) a day ahead and let it refrigerate overnight. This ensures that it is extra cold and your results will be better. Chill your ginger to keep your gelato from losing its cold temperature when you add it at the end. Also, chill or freeze the container you will use to keep your gelato. Gelato is best not frozen solid. A softer consistency is more enjoyable. If your gelato freezes hard, let it sit out a few minutes before scooping.
Serving: The possibilities are endless with Ginger Gelato as the ginger flavor just adapts so well with almost anything. Top it with fresh blueberries. Try it with poundcake. It is amazing with peaches or mangoes. You will love the flavor, and it is sure to be one of your favorites. For extra crunch, try some crumbled: Lemon Ginger Biscotti on the top.
What are you waiting for??
Makes: about a quart
1 c. Whole Milk
1 c. Half and Half
1 c. Heavy Cream
4 egg yolks beaten slightly
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp. Lemon Extract
2 Large pieces Candied/Crystallized Ginger (or a few small pieces)
3 Tbsp.or more, if you like, Chopped Candied/Crystallized Ginger (chilled)
In a large saucepan or double boiler, place the following: milk, Half and Half, cream, beaten yolks, sugar, salt, vanilla and lemon extracts and whisk together.
Add the large ginger pieces.
Cook over medium-low, stirring often. The sugar will dissolve and the mixture will thicken. Do not try to rush it be turning the heat on high. This may curdle or scramble the eggs. When it becomes thick and coats the back of a wooden spoon, it is finished. Remove from heat and cool.
Place the cooled custard in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap that lays directly on top of the custard. This will prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate preferably overnight.
When ready to make your gelato, remove the large ginger pieces.
I use an electric ice cream maker and recommend it. Use the ice cream maker according to directions. When the gelato begins to form and gets thick like soft serve (about 30 minutes in my Krups electric ice cream maker) add the chilled chopped candied/crystallized ginger pieces. Run your ice cream maker another couple of minutes until incorporated.
Cover and freeze further until your desired consistency to eat.
Here’s an idea – throw some blueberries on it! MMMMMM…
Or.. try it on top of a grilled peach!
You’re going to love this Ginger Gelato!
PARLA COME MANGI!
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Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography