Ice cream or gelato? What is the difference? We knew we loved both for their sweet, creamy, and totally satisfying characteristics. But what exactly differentiates the two? Come to find out, the answer is simple: air.
Jackie bought me a gelato making class as a gift this summer. The two of us spent a fun evening learning all about this sweet Italian delicacy, and we came home with several pints. Gelato is churned more slowly than American ice cream, incorporating less air and therefore having a denser, creamier texture. This all sounded good to us, until we found out that the machine used to make it costs $20,000!
I have been experimenting ever since trying to come up with a homemade gelato that tastes great but doesn’t break the bank. I think I have figured it out. This recipe, a cross between gelato and ice cream, may seem like it takes a long time, but it is certainly worth the wait. We added Smucker’s Fudge Topping to a vanilla base, which perfectly complements the salty pretzel crunch. Summer may be nearly over, but we never need an excuse to sit out on the deck and enjoy some homemade gelato. Or ice cream. Or anything in between.
A great homemade gelato made without an ice cream maker. We used an emulsion blender (and some patience) to create heaven overnight.
- 1 Cup granulated sugar
- 1 Cup powdered milk
- 2 Cups 2% milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 Cup heavy cream
- 1 Cup crushed chocolate covered pretzels
- 1/2 Cup hot fudge (room temperature)
- In a mixing bowl (stainless steel works best) add milk, cream, powdered milk, sugar and vanilla. Mix until sugar is dissolved.
- With an emulsion blender, mix on high for 5 minutes, to incorporate air.
- Place in freezer for 2 hours, and then mix with blender again for 5 minutes.
- Repeat 3 more times for a total of 5 times, mixing every hour instead of two.
- Cover with plastic and place in coldest place of freezer overnight.
- In morning combine crushed pretzels and fudge using a butter knife, cutting toppings into ice cream base.
- Transfer to container with air tight lid for 15 minutes or more.
- Serve and enjoy.