The ice-cream base

The ice-cream base

By
From
Sicily
Serves
8

This base has been extensively researched and developed by our good friend and ice-cream appassionato Steve Adams. Personally, I think it was all a ruse simply to eat more of the stuff, but I have to say it is the best gelato I have ever tasted. He puts it all down to resting the base in the fridge for up to three days; it is smoother, thicker and has a velvety consistency as you eat it.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500ml whole milk
200ml double cream
125g caster sugar
6 egg yolks

Method

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the milk and cream together over a medium heat until just bubbling. Meanwhile, in a large bowl beat together the eggs and sugar until smooth. Add 2 ladlefuls of hot milk to the egg mixture and immediately whisk together. Pour this back into the pan and whisk everything together until thickened.
  2. To sterilise the ice cream, turn up the heat and increase the temperature of the mixture to 85°C, stirring constantly. If you don’t have a thermometer, this is the point when the ice cream coats the back of a spoon. Take off the heat immediately and pour into a large heatproof bowl. To cool quickly, set this bowl over another bowl full of iced water, and then cover the surface of the custard with cling film (plastic wrap) to stop a skin from forming. Stir every so often to help it cool evenly. When cool, pass the custard through a fine sieve. The custard can be made into ice cream straight away, or, like Steve, you can rest it for up to 3 days in the fridge for a fuller flavour and velvety texture. Churn in an ice-cream machine or by hand using the method below.
  3. Making ice cream without an ice-cream machine

    If you don’t have an ice-cream machine, when the custard is cool, pass it through a sieve into a shallow, freezer-proof container and put it into the freezer. Whisk the mixture every hour for 4 hours to break down the ice crystals as they form. When it has all frozen it is ready to eat, or cover and leave for another day. An alternative method is to freeze the mixture in ice cube trays or small yoghurt pots and, when frozen, tip the contents into a food processor and blend to break up the ice crystals. Cover and freeze again straight away before it has a chance to melt. This is the quickest and easiest way to do it, and it results in a smooth gelato, but you do need space in your freezer and a sturdy food processor.
Tags:
Italy
Italian
Sicily
Sicilian
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