Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lemongrass Gelato

We are behind on our milk. Every week we get a gallon, in two big jars, cream three inches deep on top, from a cow down the road. This month, we came back from holiday mid-week, and we've been running a jar behind since. I've made puddings, hot chocolate, eggnog -- but this week I had a revelation.

Gelato. Lighter than ice cream, its the perfect light creamy midweek dessert. Just happened to have a little lemongrass vanilla simple syrup left, to give it a twist. The result? Lighter than air, subtly sweet, with a smooth consistency that soothes the palate. Perfect after a spicy meal, or to top a baked dessert.

See for yourself.

Lemongrasss Vanilla Gelato
Adapted from Elizabeth Faulkner's Demolition Desserts

2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 cups fresh whole milk, cream top preferable
1/4 cup fine cane sugar
1/4 cup simple syrup (I used lemongrass, any will do, honey might just be sublime)
1/2 vanilla bean, split
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Set up an ice bath by setting cold water and ice in a large bowl and nesting a smaller heatproof bowl into it.

In small bowl whisk egg yolk and cornstarch.

In a saucepan combine milk, sugar and syrup. Split the vanilla bean length wise and scrape the seeds into the milk with the top of your knife, tossing the pods in after. Place over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When milk begins to simmer around the edges, about 7 minutes, take pan from heat and remove pods.

Whisk a few drops of hot milk into egg mix. Whisking steadily, slowly add the rest. Return to pan over medium heat, cook, whisking gently, a few more minutes until mixture starts to thicken.

Pour through a strainer into bowl in ice bath. Add one more cup of milk and salt to taste (Elizabeth recommends tasting to be sure the salt is noticeable, it provides a good counterpoint to the sweet cream, and she is so right.)

When the mix is cool refrigerate for an hour or up to overnight. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze.

You can keep this in the freezer, covered, but it is best within a few days. It won't make it a week, anyway, unless you tell no one of its existence and leave town.


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