I was looking for a light and refreshing dessert to go with my duck pizza and decided to try making lemon gelato. I happened to have all of the ingredients in my refrigerator, and I thought my ice cream maker might be feeling lonely since I haven't used it in months.
Gelato does not keep well - even under ideal conditions it's best only for a couple days in the freezer due to it's significantly lower fat content than ice cream. And I'd never made it before, so I didn't know if it would work. So this is a very small recipe, more of a tester. It's probably 1 to 1.5 servings; I ate the whole thing because it was so good.
1 egg yolk 1.5 oz. granulated sugar 2 oz. heavy cream (35 % milk fat) 4 oz. whole milk 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
zest and juice of 1 lemon
One of the annoying things about making gelato and frozen custard is that you have to carefully heat the milk, sugar, and eggs. Fortunately, I can take the lazy route: mix the egg yolk and sugar, then add the cream, milk, and vanilla extract. Put all of the ingredients in a vacuum bag, and sous vide them for 20 minutes at 149°F. It should be possible to prepare multiple servings of this gelato custard base ahead of time, which I will investigate further in the future.
When almost done, start the ice cream maker compressor to chill it.
When cooked, immediately cool the custard mixture in an ice bath.
Zest the lemon peel. Mince the zest to avoid getting long strands of zest in the ice cream, a step that I did not know to do when I made this the first time.
Juice the lemon. Add the chilled custard mixture.
Transfer to the ice cream maker, turn on the beater, and make gelato! For this tiny batch it should only take 10 to 15 minutes.
Makes 8 fl. oz. (a half pint) of delicious lemon gelato. 1 to 1.5 servings.