Sunday, September 6, 2009

Mascarpone Gelato with Macerated Berries

I would like to welcome back my friend Alex from her honeymoon with her new husband, Kevin. They spent ten days in Italy, lucky ducks. Here's a little recipe to remind you of the Italia when you miss it. Welcome home and congratulations.

And now on to my slightly less exciting life. One of my new favorite things to do after dinner, when the baby has been fed and bathed, smelling great and being all cute in his jammies, is to strap him into the stroller and take the 30 minutes walk to the local co-op. I get an hour worth of walking in, the baby gets some fresh air, and we come home with yummy food. A win all around I would say. Just this past week on one such walk I found freshly picked, local, organic raspberries, and farm fresh eggs. Both of which I snatched up greedily. Only when I went to pick up the eggs, they were the smallest eggs I have ever seen. Or they seemed to be, I don’t remember Vermont farm eggs being so tiny. I mean seriously they were cute. See?
On the left is the farm egg and on the right is the leftover grocery store organic egg from the refrigerator (there is actually more of a size difference than is apparent in the photo). Doing a quick calculation in my mind, I decided I would need three eggs for any recipe that called for two. Meaning if I grabbed a dozen I would only have enough for four recipes. That doesn’t last long around our house despite my lack of baking skills (I still blame our stupid little oven, more on that to come at a later date.) so I decided I would get two dozen. Which seemed like a completely logical idea to me, until I got home and my husband asked what we were going to do with two dozen eggs.

Little did he know how amazing fresh eggs are. I won’t bore you with my rambling about fresh eggs, but if you’ve never had them they are a completely different experience than the bland, rubbery stuff you buy in the grocery store. They are flavorful and tender and crumbly. They aren’t even the same color as grocery store eggs… and now I’m going on. So back to the what to do with the egg dilemma. We had left over ciabatta rolls from the pulled pork so my husband made us bird in a nest with fresh cheddar and bacon and those were so good, but he laughed that it took two birds to fill the tiny nest, when normally it would only take one… might my calculations have been off? *Note to self, possibly two farm fresh eggs = one nasty grocery store egg.

Then there were the raspberries. Oh raspberries (insert image of grown woman doing the happy dance here)… how I love thee. I mean I really LOVE raspberries. They are my favorite food in the world. When I get those stupid questions like what would I eat if I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life…. I usually answer cheese, because that is my indulgent food, but honestly I would pick raspberries over cheese. That is a collective gasp of shock you hear from my friends and family who know me fondly as a cheese-a-holic. This recipe however could be the best thing in the world because it combines my two loves above with…… ready for it….. ice cream! Well Gelato to be exact but to be honest I can’t seem to get a straight answer from anyone or even the web as to what constitutes the difference between gelato and ice cream other than some sketchy information about air content. Some say gelato contains no egg, and other recipes that claim to be ice cream have no egg so does that make that really a gelato? Then some say cream versus milk but again I found both nomenclature with both cream and or milk. Since I am using an automated little ice cream maker I have no control so I suspect the “ice creams” and “gelatos” I make both have about the same amount of air in them, so we’re just going to play along and call this a gelato since that is what the original recipe called it.

This recipe is adapted from Emeril’s Marscapone Gelato with Macerated Strawberries. The only difference other than the obvious swap of berries was that I halved the amount of marscapone from his 16oz. to 8oz. Partly because I just wrote marscapone on my grocery list not noting how much I would need (they come in 8oz containers, and I only bought one) and partly because this weeks blog was suppose to be Avacado gelato, which I had heard was fantastic but really just ended up tasting like frozen guacamole, so I didn’t want the marscapone flavor to be too strong. I also added the vanilla where his recipe didn’t have any. And my finally adjustment was to add 5 egg yolks instead of 4 because of their miniature nature, I probably could have gotten away with 6 but I figured egg flavored gelato would probably be as tasty as frozen guacamole so I went light. Here is a regular yolk next to the original three to see how many of my little orange beauties would make up one large yolk.

Mascarpone Gelato with Balsamic-Macerated Strawberries

Adapted from Emeril on Food Network

1 container raspberries
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup simple syrup (boil 2 parts water to 1 part sugar until dissolved)
4 egg yolks (or 5 mini farm fresh yolks)
8 ounces mascarpone
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract (if you go to put it in and it says imitation vanilla... throw it in the garbage and go to the store and buy some real vanilla extract)

In a small, non-reactive bowl toss raspberries with balsamic vinegar and sugar and set aside to macerate while you prepare the gelato.

In a metal bowl whisk together simple syrup and egg yolks, set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk continuously until the mixture reaches the ribbon stage (thick, pale yellow and forms a ribbon when the whisk is lifted). Mine got REALLY foamy first so if it does that and still thickens don’t worry.

Remove the bowl from the heat, transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat at low speed until cool. Whisk in the mascarpone, corn syrup, milk, vanilla, and lemon juice and strain mixture through a fine sieve.

Chill thoroughly, then process in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's directions.

Serve with macerated berries.

This is a seriously rich dessert, but it is not horrendously sweet and the raspberries were fantastic. If you’ve never had balsamic and berries before be brave and try it, it’s not what you think. It was just yummmy.... and only made me want to go to Italy more, if only to ask.... What the hell makes it gelato?

No comments:

Post a Comment