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 notice because we make ice cream in the ancient manner, never 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 from sweet cream, or try the lighter granita-style gelato which doesn’t require 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. Never use the light versions of cream if you want to make Venetian-style gelato. 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 :-) And, we’ve also got a special one for you – the version made with lavender syrup, honey and uva fragola (Venetian strawberry grapes).

Basic Recipe – Gelato fior di latte: Mix 2 cups latte intero (whole milk), 170 ml panna (thick sweet cream), 2 cups granulated sugar. In a pan, heat the mixture until the sugar melts, forming a smooth mass. Leave it to cool to room temperature, then put the pan covered with a lid into the freezer for two hours.

If you stir your gelato every hour or so using a fork, you’ll be making a sort of granita melting rather quickly on your plate. If you don’t stir, you’ll find its consistency is that of gelato, but a bit more solid than gelato made with an ice cream maker. Wait 1-2 minutes in case the ice cream has become very solid.

To make chocolate mint gelato, add 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, a cup of dark fine chocolate pieces, 2 teaspoons menta (Italian mint liquor). Instead of alcohol, you could also use a few drops essential mint oil or 2 teaspoons mint syrup.

For gelato ai petali di rosa – rose petal ice cream, add 3 teaspoons rose syrup and 1/2 freshly picked rose petals, 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

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.

Finally, to make grandmother’s favorite – gelato alla lavanda, miele e uva fragola – Lavender-Honey-Strawberry Grape Gelato, add 2 cups crushed grapes (use a black variant) to the basic gelato recipe, 1 tablespoon lavender syrup (or five drops essential lavender oil from the pharmacist only !!!). Stir in 3 tablespoons honey before you leave to cool the mixture in the freezer.


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  1. lizbert1 wrote:

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

    Posted 8.3.15 Reply
    • furbiziahs wrote:

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

      Posted 8.3.15 Reply

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