Vanilla gelato? In winter? Am I crazy? But this simple, smooth gelato is so easy and perfect for when you have some milk that needs using up. This milk based ice cream or gelato is a much lighter alternative to thick and creamy ice creams and is so easy to make and contains no eggs at all, just milk, sugar, vanilla and a secret ingredient that you probably already have at home!
Gelato vs ice cream: Gelato is lighter than ice cream as it usually uses just milk while ice cream (at least the French style) uses cream and egg yolks to give it that creamier, richer texture. Most gelato today are made egg free so they use no egg yolks or whites. In Sicily eggs aren't used because gelato is easier to digest without the egg yolks and eggs also add a cost. But there is a secret ingredient that you can add to your gelato to give it a creamier, less icy texture: cornflour or fine cornstarch.
The other key to making gelato smooth is the gelato machine that churns the ice, breaking up the crystals. But as most of us don't have a handy gelato machine you can also make this gelato in an ice cream maker as the action of breaking up the ice is the most important part to make those ice crystals as small as possible. Once I put this through the ice cream churner I freeze it for a few hours and then place it in the Thermomix/high speed food processor to break up the ice on the highest setting a couple of times. It makes it so lovely and smooth!
Can you make gelato without an ice cream maker? Yes but it is a bit more fiddly. You just have to freeze the mixture in a tray and then keep breaking up the crystals by processing in a food processor or Thermomix and repeating this every 2 or so hours. If you process it a few times it should be fairly smooth!
Ripening home made ice cream: Also all home made ice cream needs a little ripening in the fridge. That means 20-30 minutes before you want to eat it, take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge to take the hardness out of the texture.
I made this recipe using some excess milk that I had. Dear Reader, I wrote to you earlier about my milk surplus and how I was delivered 12 litres of milk by accident. Some of it was skim milk and some of it was full cream. I placed most of it in the freezer but then I made ricotta and a couple of other things with the milk that I couldn't fit in the freezer. It was actually a nice surprise to get because usually the supermarket short changes you by giving you small produce or milk that only has a few days shelf life rather than the other way around. And hey we are all living through a cost of living crisis so using that last litre of milk in a homemade gelato is much more preferable to throwing it out!
Speaking of cost of living crisis, some of you may have noticed that there are more ads on the blog. I have switched ad providers because I was earning a pittance from google ads. You would not believe how small it was, it was barely enough just for the grocery bill. Like most of us, we are feeling the effects of the cost of living crisis - some food has literally doubled in price and our new mortgage which started out manageable has blown out to double the cost. Yes double to just under 5 figures a month :( :( :( .
Google ads wasn't sustainable as I produce the blog as a full time job and it's a lot of work and I couldn't bear the cost myself any more. With the new ad place the default settings for the ads are quite high and they are most obvious with the travel stories rather than the recipes because they contain so many images and I've adjusted them lower which earns me less money of course.
Please understand that the blog is free and has always been (even during COVID when we were all struggling to earn money). Those that read other travel blogs will see just as many ads as I had before so I will try and work out a setting that works for everyone but I need your patience with that as we test out levels. I hope you understand that I never want to charge you for the recipes, reviews or travel stories (nor do I really want to take ads!) but I also have to make a living too. Thank you for your understanding x
So tell me Dear Reader, are you finding things cost you a lot more? Is the cost of living crisis affecting you directly?
Vanilla Bean Gelato (No Egg)
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 20 minutes plus freezing time
Cooking time: 5 minutes
- 4 cups/1 litre/1.7pints milk (full cream)
- 1 cup/200g/7ozs. caster or superfine sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornflour/fine cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
Step 1 - First mix the sugar and cornflour in the milk and whisk until it is completely dissolved. Gently heat on medium heat and allow the sugar to dissolve and the milk to thicken a little. Add the vanilla bean paste and stir to combine well. Don't worry if it tastes very sweet the first time you try it. Once the mixture freezes, it tastes less sweet. Place in the fridge to cool completely. Pop a container in the freezer to put the gelato once you've made it.
Smooth gelato mixture after second churning
Step 2 - Place the mixture in an ice cream churner bowl and churn for 20 minutes or until you get a soft serve consistency. Place in the chilled container and freeze for 2 hours. After 2 hours, churn again in your Thermomix (15 seconds, speed #9.5) or in your high speed blender until smooth. Repeat one or two more times until you get the desired texture.
Note: once it is made, when you take it out of the freezer to eat it will be harder because there are no eggs in this. Place it in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to ripen. All home made ice cream needs a little ripening in the fridge.