So guess what my wife got me for Christmas… Give up? I got an ice cream maker for Christmas this year and I’m stoked! I’ve always wanted to learn how to make ice cream. More specifically gelato. My wife and I have gone back to Rome where my wife is from a couple times since we’ve been together. We also visit porto d’ascoli and Offida where my family is from. No matter where in Italy one thing is for sure. The food of course is wonderful but nothing really beats a late night gelato at any one of the many spots speckled though out Italy.
OK so I realize you may be back at where I said I wanted to learn… Like how does a chef not already know how to make ice cream. You make a good point. I’m not sure how that happened especially since I’ve always wanted to learn. Well I’ll tell you something though keep reading these entries you’ll find there is a fair amount I have yet to learn. But I’m working on it.
Ok sooo would you believe me if I told you my first attempt was a home run? NO?!. why not?!. Well it was. I’m serious it was. There is of course no evidence left but I can assure my family can back me up. I made a classic gelato known as Crema. Basically this a custard. Rich an creamy but with no added flavours like vanilla or chocolate. Just the base. But with the right ingredients so amazing!! I spent several hours searching for and reading recipes and watching videos for the traditional dessert and found many variations. Eventually I came up with my own recipe and wouldn’t you know it worked. The first product came out of the machine a bit soft but full of flavour. I knew it need time in the freezer but I couldn’t wait. I had to share. All I saw were a lot of happy family members faces. I put the gelato int the freezer for a couple hours Later that evening I brought it back out. This time it ‘s just my wife and oldest son. everyone else was in bed. I felt a little bit guilty until we all dug in… oh man the texture was perfect, the flavours…rich, creamy and just the right amount of sweet. If I closed my eyes I could have been right back in Porto d’Ascoli where I tried this flavour for the first time.
Since the first attempt was such a success it was obvious I needed to move on to the next flavour. Fior di latte. This one is my wife’s favorite. She’s from Italy so I’ve got to get this one right. Because she’ll judge me and wont hold back. Which can be hard to swallow sometimes but it’s whats needed to improve and she know thats what I’m looking for. The truth is she misses home often. All of her family is there… and so is the gelato. I mean wouldn’t you miss it? So the pressure is on.
I did the same as before reading and watching. I found the same many variations of the same recipe. I put all my chefly abilities into creating a recipe. I make the batch and guess what?… a complete and total bust. Oh man it was not good! I found recipes calling for cornstarch and icing sugar. Some with out but with regular sugar and vanilla. I was certain the traditional stuff didn’t have vanilla, but what about the cornstarch and stuff. This one was tough. I gave it a shot though and failed miserably. but I tried again 😉
So far so good. Like the Crema it needs time in the freezer. But it taste good and the wife approves. I’ll let you know tomorrow how it turned out, but I’ve got a pretty good feeling about it.