Three different ways to make ice-cream at home

Gelato al caffè
– Gelato al caffè –

I’ve been inspired lately to become active on my previously-dormant Instagram account. After experimenting with the app’s features, I found that they can do a lot to enhance smartphone photos. So far, the main subjects of my Instagram photography have been  sorbetti and gelati proudly made at chez moi.

I had never really entertained the idea of making ice-cream at home. Why would I when there are so many amazing gelaterie here in Turin?[i] With the scorching temperatures we’ve had lately though, I find I’m constantly craving fruit, ice-cream and not much else! So naturally, after my first sorbet-making experience last week, I am now hooked on making my own. In the space of barely a week, I have made the following flavours: apricot, vanilla bean, yoghurt, yoghurt and mint, lemon, coffee and coconut/chocolate.

For my initial sorbetto and gelato making efforts, I used my Thermomix. However, after delving into the subject a bit more deeply, I bought a pre-freeze DeLonghi ice-cream maker[ii].  I was very impressed with the ease of this method and would recommend it to anyone who is serious about ice-cream making. It prevents the formation of hard ice-crystals and as a result, the ice-cream’s texture is incredibly smooth and creamy.

If, however, you’re budget conscious, don’t have much bench space in your kitchen and aren’t too pressed for time (!), it is possible to make ice-cream without the aid of these kitchen-top appliances. As David Lebovitz, author of The Perfect Scoop, points out, ice-cream making existed well before the invention of electricity. Kitchen gadgetry clearly isn’t essential then to the ice-cream making process!

Here is my recipe for gelato allo yogurt e menta  (yoghurt and mint ice cream). In it, I describe three different methods you could use to make this flavour of ice-cream at home.

Ingredients

  • 200 g full-cream milk
  • 150 g cream
  • 150 g strained yoghurt
  • 100 g sugar
  • Mint leaves to infuse milk, cream and yoghurt mixture
  1. The low-tech or no machinery required method!
  • Combine milk, cream, sugar and mint leaves in a saucepan. Simmer on low-medium heat until sugar has dissolved.
  • Remove saucepan from heat and allow to cool until room temperature.
  • Add strained yoghurt to mixture. Mix vigorously to ensure there are no lumps.
  • Remove mint leaves from mixture.
  • Pour mixture into a plastic or stainless steel bowl.
  • Place bowl in freezer for about 40 minutes.
  • Remove from freezer and whisk mixture vigorously ensuring that you break up frozen sections.
  • Repeat above procedure every half an hour until mixture is frozen (this may take several hours).
  1. The Thermomix method
  • Combine milk, cream, sugar and mint leaves in Thermomix bowl. Simmer until sugar has dissolved. (8 min/ 90°/ speed 2)
  • Allow mixture to cool until room temperature.
  • Remove mint leaves from mixture.
  • Add strained yoghurt to bowl. Mix until there are no lumps. (5 sec/ speed 3)
  • Pour mixture into a wide and shallow dish and freeze for 8-12 hours.
  • Remove dish from freezer and carefully cut frozen mixture into cubes.
  • Place frozen cubes in Thermomix mixing bowl and blend. (20 sec/speed 9 then 30 sec/speed 6).
  1. The ice-cream maker method
  • Pre-freeze ice cream maker bowl for at least 12 hours before intended ice-cream making. (N.B. if you have an ice-cream maker with a built-in freezer you can skip this part!)
  • Combine milk, cream, sugar and mint leaves in saucepan. Simmer until sugar has dissolved.
  • Allow mixture to cool until room temperature.
  • Remove mint leaves from mixture.
  • Add strained yoghurt to mixture. Mix vigorously to ensure there are no lumps.
  • Pour mixture into container and refrigerate until nice and cold.
  • Remove bowl from freezer and assemble ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Pour mixture slowly into ice-cream maker. Churn for 30 minutes.

[i] Please visit the following links with suggestions by my friends and fellow Turin-based expat bloggers Lara and Sonia on where to go for quality, artisanal gelato in Turin:

http://www.turinitalyguide.com/gelato-gelaterie-in-turin/

https://texasmomintorino.wordpress.com/gelato/

[ii] There are two types of ice-cream makers:

Ice cream makers with freezer bowls

  • bowls require pre-freezing (planning ahead is essential with these ice cream makers!)
  • generally smaller and more economical.

Ice cream makers with built-in freezers

  •  (almost!) no planning is necessary (basically, with this type of ice cream maker, you could satisfy your sudden craving for  pistachio gelato almost immediately!)
  • larger and much more expensive than their pre-freeze counterparts.
- Gelato al cocco e cioccolato -
– Gelato al cocco e cioccolato –
- Gelato allo yogurt e menta -
– Gelato allo yogurt e menta –

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