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Homemade Gelato Recipes from Venice

Summer is a time of creativity in our kitchen inspired by so many patissiers in Venice and their frozen summer treats.


My grandmother’s family have been making ice cream ever since I can remember. There’s a difference you will taste when making gelato at home because we make ice cream in the ancient manner, not using a  gelatiera (ice-cream maker). It will taste a little bit like scropin or sorbetto, depending on the ingredients we choose. With a little bit of practicing, one can make delicious gelato, made from sweet cream and the lighter granita-style which doesn’t use cream.

The consistency of gelato will also depend on the ingredients. We use panna (thick sweet cream) and latte intero (whole milk) to make a creamy version. There is one issue, though. What I call panna may not be what you consider (sweet) cream. Don’t use the light versions of cream. You’ll need a very thick cream, clotted cream would be fine, but you’ll have to experiment and it should work out in the end.

Venezia Parte 2 Maggio 2013 016

The basis for ALL gelati is the following recipe for gelato fior di latte (milky ice cream). Here are our favorite family recipes:  chocolate mint ice cream, rose petal ice cream and Nutella ice cream :-)

Ingredients for chocolate mint ice cream: 350 ml latte intero (whole milk), 170 ml panna (liquid, thick sweet cream), 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, a small bar of dark fine chocolate, 2 teaspoons menta liquor  (Italian mint liquor). Instead of alcohol, you can also use a few drops of essential mint oil or 2 teaspoons mint syrup.

In a pan, mix all ingredients carefully and heat them until sugar and chocolate melt and form a smooth mass. Leave it to cool to room temperature, then put the pan (covered) into the freezer for two hours.


If you stir your gelato every hour or so with a fork, you’ll be making granita which will melt more quickly though when yu eat it. If you don’t stir up the ice cream, you’ll find the consistency is that of a creamy gelato yet more solid than gelato made with an ice cream maker. Serve with mint leaves and wait 1-2 minutes in case the ice cream has become very solid.

For gelato ai petali di rosa – rose petal ice cream, add 3 teaspoons rose syrup and a few rose petals, 1 tablespoon lemon juice plus 1-2 tablespoons sugar to the basic gelato mass. Our home-made syrups come in handy for this gelato.  To make gelato alla Nutella – Nutella  ice cream, add six tablespoons Nutella and 2 tablespoons (cane) sugar to the basic gelato mixture, heat it and put it into the freezer.


2 responses to “Homemade Gelato Recipes from Venice”

  1. lizbert1 Avatar

    Mmmmm, gelato!! I will have to give this recipe a go with some lovely cherries before they go out of season! Thanks for sharing!

    1. furbiziahs Avatar

      You are welcome ☺ cherries are always a good idea!!

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