Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Vanilla Bean Gelato With Plum Jam Swirl

Now that I've made gelato for the first time, I'm craving another ice cream maker. The kind that makes creamy dreamy gelato with less air and no icy crystals. I do love the one I have and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone. But to make gelato . . . Santa baby . . .

I found the basics for my gelato in a lovely new magazine called La Cucina Italiana. One look through the pages of stunning photos and recipes and I was hooked. It's been a love affair ever since.

Whole milk, cream and eggs are called for in the gelato, and while I used the eggs, I couldn't help myself and substituted 2% milk, half the cream and less than half the sugar. The finished product was delicious. The swirls of plum jam delightful. I'm still calling it gelato.

Christine's Vanilla Bean Gelato with Plum Jam Swirl
Adapted from La Cucina Italiana
5 egg yolks, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 3/4 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
a pinch of fine kosher salt
2 tablespoons Marsala
1 whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3/4 cup plum jam
Whisk the eggs and sugar together until thick and pale yellow. I used a hand-held mixer.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, cream, vanilla bean and salt and heat until bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Remove from the heat.
Whisk about 1 cup of the milk mixture into the egg-sugar mixture and then whisk the egg mixture back into the milk, whisking it until well combined. Whisk gently so foam doesn't form.
Turn the stove to low and return the saucepan to the heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens slightly and reaches 170F degrees. Adjust the heat so the mixture does not reach a simmer or it may curdle.
Immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Marsala.
Remove the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the gelato base.
Strain through a fine mesh seive.
You can cool the gelato base in a bowl of ice and water for about 1 hour to hasten the chilling process, then refrigerate at least 6 hours until completely chilled. Overnight is better.
Process in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
When the gelato has finished processing, remove the freezer bowl to a work surface.
Spoon the plum jam over the gelato and use two knives to cut through in an up and down motion. Don't fold in the jam or it will become too incorporated.
Serve the gelato immediately or freeze in an air tight container for several hours.

Copyright © 2005-2008, Christine Cooks. All rights reserved


  1. Hi Christine,

    I love reading Cucina Italiana! Can't say I've ever cooked from it, but I love reading the recipes. Maybe I should buy the next issue and cook at least one thing?

    The gelato looks good. Believe it or not, we have quite a few gelato shops in Austin, TX.

  2. You made this? Of course you did! Wow! My appetite is coming back slowly. I'd love a taste of this.


  3. Anna, I hope to get to Austin some time soon and have gelato with you!

    Thanks Simona.

    Paz, I'm so glad your appetite is returning. I'm going to make something good for you.

  4. Oh, yum-this looks delicious!

  5. Thank you Rebecca. It's easy too!


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