Saturday, November 17, 2012

Weekend Cooking...Lemons Gelato

You will forgive me if I reuse this photo, won't you? I really like it. I snapped it on my trip to the Amafi coast..Sorrento included..a few weeks ago.
And if you don't know it, Sorrento is known for it's lemons, like those giant ones you see in that picture. Yes, those are regular sized bottles and those are very large lemons.

One use of those very large lemons is to make Limoncello, the delightful lemon liqueur Sorrento is known for.
"Traditionally, it is made from the zest of Femminello St. Teresa lemons, that are also known as Sorrento lemons. Lemon zest, or peels without the pith, are steeped in grain alcohol until the oil is released. The resulting yellow liquid is then mixed with simple syrup."
I actually saw recipes for making your own limoncello, involving vodka, but that seemed a little over the top.
But I was determined to post a Weekend Cooking tied into my Wordless Wednesday post ..have you checked out my photos yet. If not, I can wait a minute while you do...go ahead..
So, if not limoncello, then what?
Well, what else is Italy known for? Gelato!
So, I wondered, how is gelato different than American Ice Cream? It seems to come down to butterfat..more milk, less cream, no eggs...and air..less air in Italian, more in American. Supposedly, gelato machines move the product much slower and whip a lot less air into the final frozen delite.

Off to consult my ice cream bible, The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz. If I could not make an authentic gelato, I would make do with another lemon product. And it seems I had at least four choices. I could make a granita...shaved ice covered with a fruit liquid or a sorbet...sugar, water, lemon juice frozen in an ice cream machine or a sherbet...milk, sugar and lemon juice, again frozen in the machine...or "Super Lemon Ice Cream".
 I went with the ice cream because who can turn down something called "Super"?

It is a simple recipe.

Lemon Ice Cream
(From The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz)
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 C sugar 
  • 1/2 C lemon juice 
  • 2 C half and half 
  • pinch of salt
  • Put the lemon zest and sugar into the bowl of a food processor and process until the lemon zest is very fine. 
    Add the lemon juice and process until the sugar is dissolved. 
    Stir in the cream and salt and chill for at least one hour. 
    Pour the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturers instructions.

    Oddly, I think I actually came much closed to my intended gelato, low air % result than I had intended.
    I have not used my ice cream maker in awhile but I had left the canister in the freezer. When I turned the freezer as low as it would go in anticipation of a power outage back during Super Storm Sandy. And forget to put it back to normal again again.
    It was very, very frozen.
    So, as the ice cream churned around, it froze rather hard rather quickly and just did not get as 'whipped' as it usually would have. I think.

    Either way it was very easy and very delicious. I had a few spare lemons, so I cut them in half, scooped out the flesh and piped the ice cream into it for a cute little treat. Aren't they cute? And look at the tiny bits of zest in there...hmmmmm..


    This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
    "Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
    Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


    1. I love lemon anything - this looks wonderful, and I love that picture enough to see it many times! :--)

    2. I'm with Jill. Lemon anything is good for me. And The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz is truly the best ice cream book, isn't it? And you just keyed me into something. I had trouble with ice cream this summer and now I know why. I put my the ice cream bowl thing in my big freezer (set to -10F) instead of the refrigerator freezer (set to more like 28F). This explains why my ice cream didn't come out quite like I'm used to. Will be moving the bowl to the other freezer later today.

      1. BTW: I love that photo too and was happy to see its encore presentation.

    3. Mmmmmmmm. I'm a lemon lover too -- the ice cream looks beautiful!

    4. It looks yummy and I love the taste of lemons. I like you photo too! Have a great weekend, Caite!

    5. I have a budding chef who has already copied this recipe and plans to make it (I should mention she is 10 years old and asked for her own Kitchen Aid for Christmas) Homemade lemon gelato sounds so good. And I don't care if you reused the photo, I like it, too.

      1. 10 years old and wants a KitchenAid..what a winner!!

    6. That looks good but I don't have an ice cream maker. My mother actually grows huge lemons like that and we're always looking for ways to use them.

      1. Oh, you should get one! They are pretty cheap these days.

    7. Lemon ice-cream - fantastic. And I love limoncello too. Have a super week.

    8. Yummy! I wonder if it is a little tart. The little lemon cups are cute.

      1. I found it quite lemony but not TOO tart.
        The Niece found it too lemony, if that can be believed.
        She is

    9. Girl, you got my number with this post.. lemon AND ice cream!!! Looks amazing. I'll add this to my ice creams to make list. It's a long list. ;)

    10. I suffer from deep lemon love AND my mother-in-law just gave me her ice cream maker! I will try this recipe over Thanksgiving. The photo is well worth reusing!

    11. I love your serving suggestion -- it looks so cute in the little lemon bowls!

    12. Beautiful! I love lemon ice cream and will need to use that ice cream maker I just had to have at some point!

    13. Your presentation of the lemon gelato is so lovely, I wish I had some right now.

    14. There never seems to be room in my freezer for the ice cream maker canister. Phooey! Yours looks delish!

    15. Looks like it's time to get the ice cream machine out of the pantry and put the bowl in the freezer....those look too good to pass up.

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