You haven’t lived until you’ve had the cold and creamy and flavorful mouth-punch that only come from authentic gelato cups. Some people assume that gelato cups and ice cream cups are one in the same and to that I say: NOPE.
Ice cream is a delicious cold treat that achieves its creaminess from a custard base. On the other hand gelato cups (which is erroneously Italian for “ice cream”) is a delicious cold treat that uses a slow churning process to whip air into the mixture and achieves its creaminess from the air. The end result is a more flavorful dessert (since the heavy cream base in the custard dulls the flavor of the ice cream) with less calories (because surprisingly, air has a lot less calories than eggs and whip cream) that makes you yell, “Yippy!”
Now that we’ve cleared up the greatest mystery to ever befuddle mankind, we’re going to do ya one further: we’re going to give you our Nonna’s famous gelato cups recipe. Sidenote: “Nonna” is Italian for “Grandma,” but like gelato, we believe that our nonna is sweeter than the American translation.
But we digress. The recipe we’re about to give you is for classic vanilla gelato, however it can serve as a base for any other flavor you can dream up. Our favorites are chocolate, coffee, or combining the two to make mocha. So without further ado, here’s our recipe:
The Last Gelato Recipe You’ll Ever Need
- 2 Cups- Milk (Any fat content will work)
- 1 Cup- Confectioner’s Sugar, divided (granulated sugar will work in a pinch)
- 4 eggs- Yolks Only
- 1 Pod- vanilla bean (or alternative flavoring if you aren’t making vanilla frozen yogurt.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add milk, 1/2 cup of sugar, and the vanilla bean or whatever other flavoring you’re using and stir to incorporate. You’ll leave the pan on the heat until the very first bubbles appear and the edges get a little frothy, and then remove from burner and allow to cool. (DO NOT allow the mixture to reach boiling point, as this will make the milk develop a skin on the surface, an undesirable element to gelato.)
- Separately, put the egg yolks in an electric mixture with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and whip on your highest speed until the mixture turns a pale yellow color and get light and fluffy.
- Once your milk mixture has cooled to warmish (it doesn’t necessarily need to be room temperature, but it needs to be cool enough that it won’t cook the eggs when you mix the two mixtures together.), turn your mixer to the lowest setting and then slowly incorporate the milk into the whipped eggs, just until well amalgamated. Be careful not to over-mix, as this will deflate the air you whipped into the eggs, an important part of achieving the creaminess of gelato.
- Pour the mixture back into your saucepan. Over lowish-heat, slowly bring the temperature of the mixture up until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Cook slowly; you want to make sure the mixture never reaches boiling or gets hot enough to curdle the eggs. If you let it get on the hot side, you can pour a dash of milk in to bring the temperature down before the eggs have a chance to get chunky (eggs chunks make a poor gelato flavor).
- Pour the mixture back into your mixing bowl, cover, and place in the fridge to chill. You want to chill for about two to three hours, stirring every thirty minutes or so to prevent a skin from forming on the surface. The colder it is when it hits the ice cream machine, the better it will form a creamy consistency while being churned.
- Once the mixture is adequately cooled, pour it into your ice cream machine and churn according to the instructions of the machine itself. Likely, it will take about thirty minutes to reach the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. If this is not as thick as you like your gelato to be, you can pop it in the freezer for a few hours before serving.
- To store, pour into an airtight container, and smooth the surface. Cover tightly with a piece of plastic wrap before adding the lid. The less air, the creamier the mixture will be.