Milk, cream, eggs, ricotta and sugar are the basic ingredients in preparing a good gelato. Adding fruit, nuts, liqueurs and chocolate can bring an extra element and layer of flavour to a Gelato. This makes it a wonderful snack that can be enjoyed anywhere in the world and brings joy and happiness year round to young and old alike.
Gelato flavours and textures are varied which lends itself to a myriad of different uses; as a snack, a sorbet served between meals to cleanse the palate, or served as a dessert.
There are several ways in which Gelato can also be served; scooped into balls and served in a bowl, cup or cone, sliced into a slab and garnished with fruit and sauces or even spread between cookies to create a gelato sandwich.
Ricotta and Pistachio Gelato can be enjoyed all year round by young and old alike.
Although itís easy to reach for a tub from the supermarket freezer, itís by far more fun and creative to make your own. I detoured from the traditional custard egg base and used cream cheese and extra ricotta as my base ingredients. This allowed for a creamier texture and a taste similar to eating a cannoli.
Ingredients 500gm Ricotta
250gm Cream cheese
300gm Thickened Cream
1 Cup of Soy Milk (regular milk can be used if preferred)
1 Cup of Raw Sugar
2 Tablespoons Strega (Sweet Italian liqueur from Southern Italy)
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
2 Teaspoons vanilla essence
2 Teaspoons coconut essence
Pinch of Salt
3-4 Tablespoons chopped pistachios
Basic ingredients in preparing a good Gelato.
Blend ricotta, cream cheese, milk, sugar, strega, lemon zest, salt, vanilla and coconut essence in a blender until smooth.
Add cream and using a hand beater blend until thickened and smooth. The mixture will resemble pancake batter.
Blend all ingredients until smooth. The mixture should resemble pancake batter.
Pour mixture into a container then add chopped pistachio nuts and stir through mixture.
Pour mixture into a container.
Add pistachio nuts to the Gelato.
Freeze mixture for about an hour then remove from the freezer and stir vigorously with a hand mixer. Break up any frozen areas and return to the freezer for another hour.
Periodically check the gelato every 30-minutes breaking up frozen areas of the gelato. The reason you want to keep breaking down the ice crystals is to ensure the gelato ends up being creamy and not granulated.
Freeze for an hour then stir vigorously the partially frozen Gelato with a hand mixer to break up any frozen areas.
After 4 hours the gelato will be ready to serve.
Serve Gelato scooped into a bowl, cup or cone.
It will keep in the freezer for a month. I served the Ricotta and Pistachio Gelato with a Tangy Lemon Sauce.
Ricotta and Pistachio Gelato served with Tangy Lemon Sauce.