Making Gelato Like A Pro

making gelato

Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream. If you have ever visited Italy, you probably ate creamy, delicious gelato and wondered why it tasted better than American made ice cream.

What makes Gelato different?

Gelato has less fat in the base and less air churned into it during the freezing process. The recipe can be as simple as… milk, eggs and sugar. With a recipe containing as few ingredients as this one, you need to use the freshest and best ingredients you can find.

Tips for making gelato at home:

Gelato should be served softer than American ice cream, at 12 degrees Fahrenheit rather than 3 or 4 degrees. Take the container of gelato from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to achieve the desired texture.

Use half-and half in making gelato; it will hold up better.

Use egg yolks in a gelato recipe for a richer, creamier flavor.  Pasteurized eggs will eliminate any risk. (Davidson’s is a brand in my area.)

Put the storage container in the freezer while making the gelato in the ice cream machine. The chilled container will speed up the freezing process.

Churn the mixture until it sticks to a toothpick or spatula without falling off.

If you make gelato at home, you may be wondering about your ice cream machine. Does it churn at ice cream speed or gelato speed? Most of the consumer models on the market churn at about the same speed, none of which are as fast as the commercial machines used to make American-style ice cream.

Tips on Adding Flavor:

Once the base has been prepared, there is no limit to the flavors that can be added to the gelato. Consider adding fruit, chocolate, caramel and a variety of mix-ins to deepen the flavor.

For a fruit flavored gelato, prepare a puree or finely chop very ripe fruit or berries of your choice, adding it to the gelato while still at room temperature.

Tips on Freezing Gelato:

Chill the gelato mixture in the refrigerator. Cover the bowl of gelato with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for about 3 hours to give it time to cool down before you put it in your ice cream machine.

Put the gelato in your ice cream machine. Freeze it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Remove the gelato when it is partially frozen. This ensures that the gelato will stay dense, rather than airy. Gelato should not be as light and airy as ice cream.

Place the half-frozen gelato in a freezer proof container and into the freezer. Continue freezing the gelato until it is solid.

Thaw the gelato slightly before serving. This way you’ll be able to taste the flavors that much better.

Try making gelato with this delicious recipe:

Cherry Chocolate Gelato

making gelato

Makes: 1 quart


1 quart half-and-half
1/2 cup sugar
3 pasteurized egg yolks, whisked
1 tablespoon Amaretto liqueur
12 oz frozen cherries, thawed and chopped
2 oz good quality chocolate, grated


Combine the half-and-half, sugar and egg yolks in a double boiler; cook over medium heat, stirring, until the mixture reaches 185 degrees F on a candy thermometer.

making gelato cook

Remove the mixture from the heat; set the pan in an ice bath. After the mixture has cooled, stir in the Amaretto, chopped cherries and grated chocolate.

Refrigerate, covered, at least 2 hours or overnight.

Churn the mixture in the ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions until not quite thick, about 20 minutes.

Pour the gelato into a freezer-safe container; freeze until set, about 3 hours. Then enjoy!

making gelato




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