from one generation to the next
I didn’t waste any time after the delivery of my new ice cream churn to start experimenting. With great enthusiasm, I launched myself into inaugurating the sleek new toy. Without too much research and just a germ of an idea, I made a delicious tasting orange and passionfruit sherbet that had a wholly unsatisfactory texture and mouthfeel, creamy, but thin and icy at the same time.
My motives for buying a new ice cream maker are purely selfish. Since finding I was lactose intolerant 2 years ago, ice cream has not touched my lips, but the ready availability of lactose free dairy products made me think this was a situation I could change. Making my own frozen desserts would also give me the advantage of controlling the fat and sugar content and not put my health in jeopardy with my indulgence.
After the failed sherbet, I began at the beginning.
The ingredients used to make ice cream prevent the end result from freezing as hard as a rock, typically high fat dairy products, sugar, alcohol, thickeners and emulsifiers.
Lactose free cream in Australia has a fat content of 18 – 20%, while regular cream has 35%. Reluctant to add 6-8 egg yolks to a batch of ice cream to increase the fat content, even for their thickening qualities I began looking at other options.
First I read the recipe book that came with the machine. (I know, I know RTFM) The gelato section advocated the use of cornflour and liquid pectin, then digging around on line I discovered an encyclopaedic explanation to the use of xantham gum.
Briefly, it’s a natural product produced through fermentation of glucose and an enzyme sourced from cabbages. Best known for it’s use in gluten free baking, neutral flavoured xantham gum has thickening properties which increases viscosity and therefore improves mouthfeel, the perfect solution for creamy ice cream, in theory……
And in practice!
Berry Delicious Gelato
1 cup of frozen blueberries
1 cup of frozen raspberries
200 mls milk (I used lactose free)
600 mls cream (I used lactose free)
3/4 cup castor sugar
1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons creme de cassis
Defrost the berries. Puree the berries in the blender, then strain to remove the chopped up skins and raspberry pips. Set aside.
Combine the cream and milk in a medium saucepan.
Combine the sugar and the anthem gum in a small bowl.
Bring the milk and cream to the boil. Remove it from the heat then slowly add the sugar and gum whisking continuously with a balloon whisk.
Return the pan to the heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved. The xantham gum will thicken the milky mixture very quickly. If the gum clumps together, use an immersion blender to disperse it.
Remove the pan from the heat, then stir in the berries, the lemon juice and the liqueur.
Chill the ice cream for 4 hours before churning according to the manufacturers instructions.
Freeze until ready to serve. Transfer the gelato from the freezer to the fridge 30 minutes before serving for an anthentic Italian texture.