Friday, May 29, 2015

Queen of Persia Gelato

It's just as sexy as it sounds.(sorry for potato quality)
Hello, class! Time to focus on churned-frozen desserts, which categorize ice creams, sorbets, sherbets, and gelatos, which are desserts that are churned/agitated during the freezing process. We will cover still-frozen desserts another time, which are desserts that are just popped into the freezer without agitation. I am making gelato because I have a gelato machine, and not an ice cream machine, and they are NOT the same thing.

In fact, let's get one thing straight:

The thing which sets gelato apart from ice cream/sorbet/sherbet is something called overrun. It has nothing to do with the ingredients, it all has to do with how it's made. What's overrun, you ask?

Overrun - The amount of air churned into a churned-frozen product by volume.

An ice cream will have anywhere from a 15% to 50% overrun, depending on the kind you buy. Notice that cheaper ice creams melt more quickly? That's because they're literally half-made of air. More expensive ice creams have a creamier mouth-feel, and don't melt as quickly, because they're more ice cream than air. Let's say your ice cream machine has a 25% overrun, which is fairly standard. This means that if you start with 1 qt of ice cream base, you'll end up with 1 qt and 1 cup of finished product.

A gelato, however, only as a 10% overrun, which means it requires a special kind of machine to make. You cannot make gelato in an ice cream machine. You cannot make ice cream in a gelato machine. It's just not going to happen. Don't pretend like you know different, and leave a review on Amazon.com saying that it's the cream-to-egg ratio that makes ice cream in a gelato machine, because you sound like a jackass.

The "Queen of Persia" flavor profile usually entails flavors of cardamom, rose water, and pistachio. I omitted the pistachios because I have some friends that are allergic to nuts, and it's better to make it accessible to everyone. By all means, though, if you want to make this recipe using pistachios, please do!

Queen of Persia Gelato

  • 14 fl oz heavy cream
  • 20 fl oz whole milk
  • 9 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 7 oz granulated sugar
  • 1 oz Karo light corn syrup
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 6 egg yolks
  • About 4 heaping spoonfuls of Rose Petal Jam
    • if you don't have this, 2 Tbsp of rose water is just fine, but you'll want to add an extra egg yolk just to be sure
Combine the heavy cream, milk, cardamom, and rose water(if using rose water) in a pot and bring to a boil. Let the pods steep for about 10 minutes.

Combine the sugar, egg yolks, syrup, and salt in the bowl of your standing mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, and whisk on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl down, then increase your speed to medium-high. You can do this by hand(although it's a pain) or with a hand mixer, so long as you get a very light color to your egg yolks with increased volume. 

Splash your hot cream mixture onto the egg yolks to bring up the temperature, and whisk. Then return the cream to the heat and add in your yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Cook your custard until it reaches about 180 degrees F, or until it thickens, then immediately remove from the heat and strain. Set in the fridge to chill, or in an ice bath. Chill completely before churning in your gelato machine, according to it's factory instructions. You can also use this recipe in an ice cream machine, so long as you call it "Queen of Persia Ice Cream".

When the gelato is churned but still a little soft, add in your rose petal jam, if using. You can also introduce some chopped pistachios at this time and churn that in. Let it churn for about 30 seconds more, no matter what you added, and remove from your machine. You can enjoy your dessert now, or let it set up in the freezer for about an hour for better results. Your patience will be rewarded!

If you remove the cardamom pods and rose water/jam, you can use this ice cream base/technique to create many flavors.

Want to make chocolate gelato? Simply add 5 oz of chopped dark chocolate, the darker the better, to the still-warm custard mixture before straining. Want to make earl grey gelato? Steep 10 earl gray tea bags in the milk for about 5 minutes before whipping your eggs. 

Thanks, class! Enjoy making gelato!


Make sure you check out how I made Rose Petal Jam from roses in my own garden!