Have you ever had homemade Italian galato? If not, then you really haven’t eaten a real dessert! Whenever I travel through Europe (especially Italy) this stuff is my daily staple. I’m going to show you a super easy & fast way to make it!
I was born in 1980 in a rural farming village. Oh, the memories of the 80’s! He-Man, toilet papering neighbor’s yards, and stone washed jeans all bring back fond memories for me. But among my fondest memories are standing next to my big brothers, begging for a chance to turn the hand crank ice cream maker. I grew up as the youngest of 10 children and money was tight. We couldn’t afforded the luxury of driving to town to pick up a carton of ice cream, so making ice cream at home was a rare treat that I savored. Our ice cream consisted of cream & eggs from our neighbor’s farm, and fruit & berries from our own farm & orchards. Oh how times have changed, for good and for bad.
Now I can afford to walk down the grocery aisle & choose from dozens of different ice cream flavors. But about 5 years ago I started to think back to my childhood, and I said to myself, “this ice cream just doesn’t taste as good as the ice cream I had as a kid.” But then I traveled to Italy and rediscovered the long-lost taste, but it had a different name…gelato!
Alright, alright, enough reminiscing. Now for the good part! Do you know why gelato tastes better, even though it is healthier? It uses less cream than traditional ice cream, so there is less milk fat on your tongue to block the flavors from coming through. Here’s how you can make amazing-tasting Italian berry gelato, but in a much easier & faster way than other recipes. It’s so easy that you can let your kids help too…they’ll love it!
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream (fresh from a local farm is best)
- 1/2 cup sugar + 1/4 cup
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- High quality frozen berries (from Costco or Sam’s Club)
Make sure your 1.5 quart insulated ice cream freezer bowl has been in the freezer overnight (deep freezer makes it colder, which works better).
In a saucepan combine the cream, milk, and 1/2 cup of sugar over medium/low heat. Slowly cook until the sugar dissolves, which should take about 5 minutes. Stir constantly (a silicon spatula works great) so that the mixture doesn’t get hot spots & taste like scrambled eggs!
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whip the egg yolks together with the 1/4 cup remaining sugar. Do this with an electric mixer (stand mixer or hand mixer) until the egg yolks become pale yellow and thick (approximately 4 minutes). Pour the egg/sugar mixture into the cream/milk mixture (which is still in the saucepan). Continue to cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 7 to 10 minutes. Then add the vanilla extract into the mixture.
Remove from the heat and pour into a Tupperware container or glass bowl. Chill the mixture completely before pouring into an ice cream maker. It should feel cool to the touch. You can speed the chilling process by setting your container in an ice bath, or set it in the freezer, watching it carefully, to make sure it doesn’t freeze.
Once the gelato base has cooled, follow the instructions that came with your ice cream maker. I would recommend that you let the gelato setup (near the top) before adding the berries. Add the berries a couple minutes before the gelato is firm, and continue to mix until the gelato is at a consistency that you prefer.
In the comment section below, let me know how it turns out!
***Josh’s Tip: You can substitute the berries with almost any other filling. However, be aware that anything that you put into the gelato maker must be frozen or at least very cold (even Oreo cookies).