The human race is made of hundreds of ethnicities, languages, and cultures. While there are many factors that make us all different, there are some that bind us all: our love of cold, delicious treats.
Some people scream for ice cream. Some people love sorbet. Maybe frozen yogurt is what makes your tummy churn. And then there’s gelato. Gelato is like ice cream in some ways, and unlike anything but heaven itself in other ways. While ice cream is made of heavy cream and egg yolk to create a custard that is frozen, gelato uses less fat in the process, which makes it denser and creamier.
I know what you’re thinking, how does less fat make gelato creamer? You see, because gelato is made of milk instead of the fat of cream and yolks, it requires less churning to freeze. The less churning involved in the creation of the gelato results in less air being mixed in. The air in ice cream creates crystals when frozen, which gives you a crunch rather than creamy mouth feel.
We hope that we have you on board with the deliciousness of gelato. If we do, we’d like to introduce you to our favorite gelato recipe this time of year: Pumpkin pie gelato. Fall is the time for pumpkin all the things, and gelato is no exception. Now without further adui, we present pumpkin pie gelato:
- 3 cups milk (although ice cream requires fuller-fat milk, you can use skim or 2% with gelato, and cut down those calories a bit)
- 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- dash of kosher salt
- 1 (15 ounce) can of pumpkin (you just want the pumpkin itself, make sure to avoid the cans “pumpkin pie mix”)
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons bourbon or rum(optional)
- Add your milk to a medium sauce pan, over medium heat. Slowing whisk your brown sugar and vanilla in, and stir constantly until the brown sugar is fully incorporated. Once the sugar has dissolved, continue to let the mixture heat for about five minutes. Do not stop mixing during this time, and do not let it come to a boil. If milk boils, it splits, and gives you milk chunks that rise to the top. Unless you like milk chunks in your gelato, avoid this situation.
- Pull your milk mixture from the stove and set it aside, so that it can cool into a nice, sweet, vanilla-y milk.
- In a separate bowl, mix the canned pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and allspice together until fully incorporated.
- If you’re going to add a liquor like bourbon or rum, this would be the time to do so. Why add liquor to your recipe? Well, in addition to giving your gelato a slightly deeper flavor, liquor adds to the creaminess of the gelato. As we mentioned, ice cream loses its creaminess if ice crystals develop when it freezes. Liquor does not freeze (there is a whole science behind this phenomenon, but we’ll just call it magic). Since it doesn’t freeze, it prevents your gelato from developing the ice chrystals and just makes it a tiny bit creamier. However, this recipe does not involve adding any heat to the liquor, so the alcohol in it does not have the opportunity to burn off. If you plan to serve your pumpkin gelato to pregant women or small children, you might prefer to skip this step. (If you are unsure of who will be tasting your gelato, you might find it comforting to keep in mind that adding only two tablespoons to the entire recipe means that only the slightest amount would convey in a serving anyways).
- Using a blender or electric mixer, combine your pumpkin mixture with your milk mixture, until the two mixtures come together as one, delicious and amazing union.
- Now, pour your pumpkin goodness through a sieve into an ice bath. The sieve prevents the clumps from getting through, that will disrupt the creamy mouth feel you want from your gelato.
- Remove the bowl from the water bath, cover it, and let it chill in the fridge overnight.
- In the morning, pour the mixture into a churner, and churn until it reaches the consistency you want.
- Devour your delicious pumpkin gelato, and share with loved ones. Or don’t!