Monday, August 3, 2009

Melon Gelato


Melon gelato has always, always been my favorite flavor to eat on a hot summer day when traveling abroad. OK, I also have a thing for raspberry, passion fruit, and coconut gelato, but melon is good. I love really creamy, fruity gelato and not the stuff you find in the US where you pay $3+ for a dinky scoop of gelato and have to eat it in a cup with a tiny piece of plastic. Oh no, I'm talking about real European gelato where they have every flavor imaginable and its displayed in huge mounds and garnished with real fruit. With garnishes like that you don't need to speak the language to order frozen yumminess. You just point to what you want they glob these big colorful spoonfuls of multiple flavors into a cone. Its wonderful. I don't know why, but you just can't find a good gelato experience like that in the US. Or amazing fruit flavors for that matter.

Today was hot and humid and for the first summer in five years I wasn't traveling to another country. I know it's sad, but I did have a ripe cantaloupe sitting there in my fridge and the freezer bowl to my ice-cream maker was nice and frozen. So whats a foodie with the travel bug to do? That's right, try my hand at making melon gelato.

It is hard to make gelato it really it. I've tried a number of times with different recipes and ingredients, but without a real gelato machine I'm not sure its even possible. Gelato machines are also supposed to whip the mixture a different way then an ice-cream maker. On top of that I've read so many conflicting gelato recipes. Some recipes say to use many eggs and milk. Other recipes use milk and cream and no eggs. I've also read that some gelatos are thickened with corn-starch and no eggs. Someday, I want to take a gelato making course, but until then there is always experimentation.

So, into my blender went half a ripe cantaloupe, 4 tbsp of sugar, a squirt of lemon juice, 3/4 of a cup whole milk and a tsp of corn-starch. This mixture was nice, frothy and tasty so I poured it into my Cuisinart ice-cream maker. After about 20 minutes of churning I had what looked to be a winner. A beautiful, soft, peach colored frozen desert was forming.

Alas, the sweet, juicy, melon flavor was there, but again, like always the consistency was off. It wasn't like standing on a cobblestone street in an old world city while people pushed by me, but what are ya gonna do? Sitting at my kitchen table and savoring my melon concoction it was good enough.

2 comments:

  1. Hey Alison!
    I absolutely love this blog. I just wanted to let you know that in my Hot & Cold Desserts class at school, part of the lecture was on the differences between gelato and varying forms of ice cream. From what I was told, most ice creams use a mixture of both cream and milk, and gelato uses only milk. However, I was also told that there are no "official" standards on how to make gelato, so that is probably why you have seen so many different recipes.
    Good luck on finding your right melon gelato! :)

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  2. Awesome. Thanks for the info Haley!

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