Ben the Baker

Just a guy trying to get his kids to eat

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Blood Orange Gelato

Posted by osakaben41 on September 3, 2009


I came across an enlightening thread on e-gullet the other day regarding how to make respectable quenelles.  It’s a forum a number of people “in the industry” use for comparing notes, asking obscure questions, etc.  The take away was, if you want to get good at this, if you want your ice creams or mousse to look more elegant than a glob of goo on a plate, the only way to get it right is to practice practice practice.  So that’s what I’ve been up to.  

At the same time, I found some Blood Oranges, and just had to grab them while they were available.  Intending fully to make a sorbet,  I ended up with a faux gelato recipe.  As a beginner I was reluctant to go with a sorbet, given that we’re shooting for a nice workable consistency, not too hard but not melting either.  Looking for something forgiving, I went with a high-fat, and lots of air whipped in approach.

Spoons might have been too wet

Spoons might have been too wet

Technically, I think this is really just Ice Cream by another name.  Gelato usually doesn’t include eggs and this has 5 yolks.  They’re often just milk based, but this has heavy cream in it.  They’re typically denser than ice cream with less air whipped in, but I had something specific in mind already.  That said, the goal is to serve these in a semi-frozen state, whereas ice-cream is usually held and served much colder, and therefore much harder.  That’s why Gelato is traditionally served with a spatula instead of an ice cream scoop.  Texture-wise I think I got pretty close, but all the extra cream and milk really cut down the intense orange flavor you’d expect from a ‘real’ gelato.


How do people get those pointy tips?

How do people get those pointy tips?

Taste-wise, these are downright silky, though not as much orange as I would have liked came through.  The recipe I ended up with called for the juice of 5 oranges to be boiled and reduced to a thick syrup, which was then added to the custard base.  There was just so much milk and cream in this base though, that it turned only the faintest pastel yellow.  I cheated and threw in a few drops of red food coloring for effect, and added some orange oil as well, but in the end, it’s much more cream with an orange finish than an Orange ice cream.

already melting by the time I turned the camera on

already melting by the time I turned the camera on

 A professional can rip these out by raking a spoon across the top of a fresh batch, but the fall back approach uses two spoons.  Some advise keeping the spoons in warm water, but in a few attempts this resulted in wet scoops of gelato.  I tried keeping it in the fridge for a half hour before to get a more pliant scoop, which did work out, but at this point the window to work within was awfully narrow.  

I’ll try to keep the updates on this particular fetish to a minimum, but consider this a baseline post, that years from now we can all look back on and laugh at.


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