Italian Gelati Ice Cream Variations: Vanilla, Pistachio, Coffee,
- FOR THE VANILLA: In a 1 1/2 or 2 quart enameled or stainless steel saucepan, bring the light cream and the vanilla bean almost to a boil over low heat. (If you are using vanilla extract, DO NOT add it now.) Meanwhile combine the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl. Beat them with a whisk, rotary or electric beater for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they are pale yellow and thick enough to fall from the whisk or beater in a lazy ribbon. Then discard the vanilla bean from the saucepan and pour the hot cream slowly into the beaten egg yolks, beating gently and constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it thickens to a custard that lightly coats the spoon. Do not allow the mixture to boil or it will curdle. Stir in the heavy cream, and if you are using the vanilla extract instead of the vanilla bean, add it now. Strain the custard through a fine sieve into a mixing bowl and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- Now pack a 2 quart ice cream freezer with layers of finely crushed or cracked ice and coarse rock salt in the proportions recommended by the freezer manufacturer. Add cold water if the manufacturer advises it. Then pour or ladle the cooled gelato into the ice cream can and cover it. If you have a hand ice cream maker, let it stand for 3 or 4 minutes before turning the handle. It may take 15 minutes or more for the ice cream to freeze, but do not stop turning at any time, or the gelato may be lumpy. When the handle can barely be moved, the ice cream should be firm. If you have an electric ice cream maker, turn it on and let it churn for about 15 minutes, or until the motor slows or actually stops.
- To harden the gelato, clean the ice cream from the sides down into the bottom of the can and cover it very securely. Drain off any water that is in the bucket and repack it with ice and salt. Let it stand for 2 or 3 hours.
- PISTACHIO: Heat the light cream and beat the egg yolks and sugar together. Add the ground pistachio nuts and make the custard as above. Then stir in the heavy cream and vegetable coloring, and strain this mixture. Add the chopped pistachio nuts and ground almonds. Cool and freeze.
- COFFEE: Heat the light cream with the lemon peel and beat the egg yolks and sugar together. Discard the peel and make the custard as described above. Add the espresso coffee (instant or freshly brewed) and heavy cream; strain, cool and freeze.
- CHOCOLATE: Heat the milk, beat the egg yolks and sugar together, and make the custard as described above. Then stir in the heavy cream, melted chocolate and vanilla extract. Strain, cool and freeze. To Make 1 to 1 1/2 quarts of each flavor.
- The Time Life Holiday Cookbook.