Sunday, March 14, 2010

Orange Blossom Gelato

After letting the carefully-cooked milk, cream and eggs chill down in the freezer this morning, I poured the mixture into the whirring Cuisinart ice cream maker. This is always the scariest part. I've had some serious disappointments trying to make ice cream since getting the machine at my bridal shower. After bitching to the Cuisinart rep on the phone about how it must be defective, she asked, "well, are your ingredients 'cold'?" Well, not really. Not, like, frigid. Either way, I've wasted some great blackberries and a leftover flat of raspberries in semi-solid, gooey messes.

Luckily, the prep paid off this time around. The Orange Blossom Gelato frothed and firmed up perfectly. The Orange Blossom extract was more floral than orangey, a fragrant note of some plant I'm sure I've never seen. The candied orange peel added a nice contrast in texture, which was good for me because I'm not typically a big ice cream person. And, just like drinking the milk straight, the gelato made with raw milk was intensely rich. I just had a small dessert-size bowl after dinner tonight and I feel like I'm going to have to dig out my 'fat pants' for work tomorrow. Here's the recipe, if you're wanting a citrus vacation from March.

Orange Blossom Gelato with Candied Orange Rind

2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup white sugar
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
Pinch of coarse salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Orange Blossom Extract OR, if you haven't been to the Caribbean lately, 1 teaspoon of Penzey's Pure Orange Extract
Candied orange peel, very finely diced

Place the milk, cream and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a small pan and cook over low heat, whisking occasionally, until it is warm to the touch.

Place the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of the sugar, the extract and the salt into a small metal bowl and whisk until completely mixed. Add 1/4 cup of the warm milk mixture to the eggs, whisking all the while. Continue adding milk to the eggs, 1/4 cup at a time, until you have added about 1 1/2 cups. Slowly, whisking all the while, return the now milk and egg mixture to the remaining milk mixture in the pan and continue cooking until it just begins to thicken. Don't let it boil. Allow to cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate overnight.

Take out of the fridge about 20 minutes before putting in the ice cream machine, and stick in the freezer. Pour into ice cream machine according to your particular machine's directions. About 2/3 through the solidification process, add the candied orange peel. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and allow to sit in the freezer for 4 hours before serving.

Candied Orange Peel a la Martha Stewart
1 orange
1/3 cup sugar

Using a citrus zester or vegetable peeler, shred long strips of orange peel.

Place strips in a medium saucepan. Cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Drain; repeat two more times with fresh water.

Place sugar in a clean saucepan with 1 cup water; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Add the citrus strips to the boiling syrup; reduce heat, and simmer until strips are translucent, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat; let strips cool in syrup, at least 1hour. Remove from syrup when ready to use.

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