Strawberry, Balsamic and Basil Gelato

I would say an ice cream maker was one of my best purchases, except it wasn’t a purchase.  It was an appropriation/rescue/total thievery, depending on your perspective…  I obviously prefer to think of it as a rescue.  Mom never used that thing–that makes it okay, right?  I mean, she kept it in the GARAGE.  That is no way to treat something as awesome as a thing that makes ice cream.

Strawberries and balsamic is already established as a tremendous partnership, but when I went searching for a good recipe, I came across Paula from Bell’alimento, specifically, her guest post on I Made Dinner.  It was exactly what I was looking for, plus basil–clearly this lady knows what’s up.

I substituted unsweetened almond milk for regular old whole milk, because I rarely have cow milk around anymore.  Almond milk is delicious and much lower in, well, everything (calories, fat, sugar and protein) than regular milk, if that’s what you’re into.  If you go this route, the gelato will be lighter, though not quite as creamy or bright white.

Is it still gelato if there’s less fat?  I should have thought of that before I made the pretty picture on top.

Egg yolks are a necessity, though.  We whip them with sugar until they’re pale and smooth.  I saved the whites for breakfast.  Waste not!

Egg, milk and cream cook together happily, to kill whatever shady things might be lurking in the egg yolks, and to make things just a little thicker and custardlike.

That part’s all things creamy.  This part’s all things really, really delicious.  I’ll be honest…  I could just eat this bowl for dessert and be completely happy.

Blend it all together!  I didn’t even steal this food processor from anyone.  She’s mine fair and square.

Pretty, pretty swirls.  Dump this into your ice cream magic machine–it’ll take care of the rest.

Seriously, I know I say it a lot, but this is some delicious stuff.  If you’ve ever wondered if the strawberry/balsamic combination could get even more magnificent, it can.  Happy spring!

Strawberry, Balsamic and Basil Gelato
(recipe from I Made Dinner; guest post courtesy of Paula from Bell’alimento)

3 cups whole milk (I used unsweetened almond milk for a lighter but less creamy gelato; see note in post)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of fresh basil (measured prior to chopping; I used roughly 4-5 leaves of varying sizes)

In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and 1 cup of the sugar and beat with a hand mixer until pale and creamy (about 2-3 minutes).  Set aside.

Heat the milk, heavy cream and vanilla over medium heat in a large pot until the mixture is warm, but don’t let it boil.  Remove from heat, and gradually add a cup or so of the mixture to the egg yolk mixture and stir to combine.  Then add the egg yolk mixture to the rest of the milk/cream and reheat over medium heat until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.  Remove from heat and let it cool, and once cool, cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least a few hours.

Chop the basil finely.  In a medium bowl, combine the strawberries, basil, balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup of sugar.  Stir well, cover and put this in the fridge as well, until the milk/cream/egg mixture is thoroughly chilled.

Use a blender or food processor to puree the strawberry mixture, then stir it into the chilled milk/cream/eggs.  Use an ice cream maker, following the manufacturer’s instructions, to finish making your gelato.

6 Responses to Strawberry, Balsamic and Basil Gelato

  1. I “adopted” my bread machine from Lea – I like to think I’m giving it a good home. And I can totally vouch for the awesomeness of the recipe because it was delicious!

  2. I, for one, am very grateful for your appropriation of said ice cream maker, because you’ve now given me an absolutely fabulous recipe to try out for MY new ice cream maker! {I just got it last week. No stealing though, totally legit with receipt & all.} ;) I made my very first batch of homemade vanilla ice cream last week and I have been researching recipes ever since to feed the new obsession. Can’t wait to try this!

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