Gelato alla Crema
The only flavors in this smooth, rich gelato are sweet cream, sugar, egg yolks and a hint of orange. You can use it as the base for other gelatos by adding chunks of chocolate, bits of fruit or chopped nuts during the last minute or so of freezing.
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 orange zest strip, 3 inches long
- 6 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup sugar
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, cream and orange zest and heat, stirring occasionally, until small bubbles appear around the edges of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes. When the milk mixture is ready, slowly add it to the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the same saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, until the custard has thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to come to a simmer.
Immediately remove from the heat and pour through a fine-mesh sieve placed over a bowl. Let cool, cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The gelato can be served immediately, directly from the ice cream maker, when it is still soft. Or, you can transfer the gelato to a freezer-safe container, cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or for up to 2 days, before serving. Makes about 5 cups; serves 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Italian by Michele Scicolone (Oxmoor House, 2007).