Long, long ago, my soon-to-be-husband and I wandered through the housewares section of a local department store, searching for things to place on our wedding gift registry for our upcoming wedding. We registered for practical things – like dishes, Pyrex, pots, and pans – and for some frivolous things too. Like an ice cream maker. We had never made ice cream from scratch in our lives, but doesn’t every newly married couple need an ice cream maker?
The wedding happened in June of 1997. We went on our honeymoon, came home and unpacked gifts, wrote thank you notes, and placed the unopened ice cream maker on a shelf. And there it sat, untouched, for about 12 years. Turns out, being married doesn’t necessarily entail making lots of homemade ice cream.
Sometime last year, I pulled out the Cuisinart ice cream maker box, dusted it off, and pulled out the brand-new but decade-old appliance. And I made my first batch of vanilla ice cream.
I can’t recall who gave us that ice cream maker almost 13 years ago, but I’m really happy they did. It was a silly thing for the previous version of me (the I-hate-to-cook-and-can-barely-boil-water version) to register for, but this current version of me is pretty darn happy with it.
I made some pomegranate gelato that I want to share with you. It was my first try at gelato, and it was spectacular. The recipe came from a 2006 issue of Gourmet magazine (recipe here). The color was just beautiful – a lovely blush pink – and it was incredibly creamy and refreshing. It’s really a perfect summer dessert.Pom Wonderful. I accepted because I loved the product long before they offered to send me some, and I always have a bottle in my refrigerator.
Yield: 1 quart
The recipe called for 1/3 cup pomegranate liqueur, but I used a smaller amount - 1 tablespoon - of citrus vodka instead. The alcohol gives the gelato a creamier texture, so I think it's important to use it.
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/3 cup Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon citrus vodka
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Whisk together cream, milk, sugar, cornstarch, and Kosher salt in a 3-quart heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking occasionally, and boil while whisking for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining ingredients.
Transfer mixture to a metal bowl and refrigerate uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Then cover and refrigerate until very cold, 3 to 6 hours.
Freeze mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer gelato to an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours. Prior to serving, soften gelato slightly in the refrigerator, for about 20 minutes.
Slightly adapted from this recipe in Gourmet magazine, September 2006.