I'm really getting into this homemade ice cream thing. I love my ice cream maker and have never been disappointed with the end product. I wish I could fully describe the flavor difference between homemade and store bought. Some brands are tremendously better than others - so if you're not going to make it yourself spend the extra bucks and get the good stuff.
Since I love to bake and make desserts, we never have pre-packaged cookies and cakes in our house. I don't think I could go back to mass produced desserts now that I know what a real treat tastes like. If we're going to save room for dessert, I want it to be worth it. And this Gelato? So worth it.
Citrus is still readily available in our grocery stores but soon Key limes and juicy oranges will be harder to find. A big bag of Key limes just happened to jump in my cart the other day and it wasn't difficult to decide what I wanted to make. Key Lime Pie is at the top of our list as a favorite pie but I had never heard of Key lime ice cream or Gelato.
The idea came to me when I made these Graham Crackers and found Key limes in the store. After researching I found several recipes that called for sweetened condensed milk as part of the base. I didn't want to use the exact same ingredients as Key Lime Pie so I went with a vanilla base Gelato and added Key lime juice, zest and a graham cracker swirl. All I can say is wow - I am very fond of this recipe!
This Gelato is creamy, tangy, tart and sweet in each and every bite!
Serve in a glass rimmed with lime juice and sugar for a pretty presentation. Add a little zest on top and enjoy!
Key Lime Pie Gelato
1 tablespoon key lime zest
1 cup vanilla infused granulated sugar, divided
(I keep sugar in a jar with left over vanilla beans. The vanilla beans flavor the sugar in a subtle way that makes it perfect for this recipe. While this is nice - it is not necessary. Granulated sugar is just fine.)
5 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 to 1/3 cup Key lime juice (about 10 limes - I used 1/3 cup but use less if you prefer a less tart flavor)
1 cup lightly crushed Graham Crackers
Combine 1 tablespoon Key lime zest in a bowl of a food processor with 3/4 cup of granulated sugar. Process until the zest is very fine. Place the zest and sugar in a heavy bottom saucepan. Add 2 cups of whole milk and cook on medium heat until the mixture reaches 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid and steep for 30 minutes.
While the milk is steeping, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar in a non-reactive medium bowl. Whisk until the eggs are foamy and slightly thickened. Set aside.
Put the steeping milk and zest mixture back on medium heat until it reaches 170 degrees stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Temper the eggs by pouring in a slow, steady stream of the hot milk while whisking continuously. Once all the hot milk has been added to the egg yolks, pour the new egg and milk mixture (custard) back in the saucepan. Heat on medium stirring continuously with a wooden spoon or heat proof spatula until it reaches 185 degrees or is thick enough to coat the back of the wooden spoon. Take care not to let the mixture boil. If needed, blend or emulsify the custard if it is not smooth.
In a separate clean, large glass or stainless steel bowl, add the heavy cream. Set the bowl over an ice bath and place a fine-mesh sieve over the cream.
Pour the heated custard through the sieve into the cold cream. Stir occasionally until the mixture is fully cooled. Add the lime juice and stir until combined. Remove the bowl from the ice bath and dry the bottom with a kitchen towel. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Process the Gelato in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer directions. Remove the Gelato from the ice cream maker and gently fold in or layer the crushed graham crackers. Store the Gelato in a sealed plastic container. I also lay a piece of plastic wrap on the Gelato surface to prevent ice crystals from forming. Freeze until set and ready to serve.
Makes about 1 1/2 quarts
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~This Gelato sounds like something you'd normally have at the beach but Spring (and Spring Break vacation) is just around the corner! We had 6 inches of snow last week, and then it was about 65 degrees today. Fickled weather!
I hope you had a nice weekend and hope you have even a better week! Thanks so much for stopping by!