Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn't illegal. ~Voltaire
How wonderful that the warm and breezy days of Spring and Summer are fast approaching! I have to say, despite the heat of the season that will soon be here, I will still love to engage in cooking and baking. I can't help myself!! I LOVE it! I do find, however, that what I desire to make in my kitchen does change with the seasons.
It is Strawberry season here in Florida...and so my attention turns to the luscious berries and fruit that are now, and will be, available to us in the coming months... So, with that said... I have been on a quest for the perfect low fat treat. I know.... low fat treat sounds like a contradiction in terms.. doesn't it?
Nevertheless... as a Nurse, I value the healthy Lipid panel I have managed to maintain. But as a gal nearing 50 years... I'm looking to live it up with things that I enjoy. Ergo, just because my metabolism is fighting my efforts...doesn't mean I should quit trying to stay healthy AND to have fun.
I've been on a Gelato kick lately. Simply to cut down on the fat, sugar and calories that come with eating Ice Cream. 4-8 % butterfat in Gelato vs approx. 14 % butterfat in Ice Cream. But to drill down even further, I found that even many Gelato recipes call for a hot process that involves making a yellow custard base often made with egg yolks and heavy cream..... that's right... Heavy cream... yikes.... I have made my Gelato this way...and it is good!
But I went looking for a healthier way to go about Gelato, cutting back the fat content, without sacrificing that smooth , creamy texture I so enjoy. Credit goes to Gale Group/ Sunset Publishing's 'Skinny Gelato' a marvelous way to make, well...not Guiltless , but with less guilt, Gelato. Admittedly, I tweaked their recipe to suit my self... but that's the fun of cooking I think.
1/2 cup sugar
3 thin strips lemon peel (yellow part only), each 1/2 by 3 inches ( I simply microplaned the lemon peel. I might omit this in the future depending on what flavor I am going after)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups extra-light or low-fat milk ( I used 1% milk)
Berry puree (You can experiment by food processing your favorite fruit to a puree consistency)
2 teaspoons vanilla ( how about Rum flavoring? Almond? Grand Marnier? Go ahead and play! :)
In a 2- to 3-quart pan, combine sugar and lemon peel; with a wooden spoon, press peel against sugar to release oils. Mix in cornstarch. Stir in milk. Stir over medium heat (with a whisk to remove any lumps) until sauce boils, about 5 minutes. When it boils, continue to stir 1 minute. Remove from heat. Lift out lemon peel; discard. ( Because I microplaned the lemon, I left it in the pudding)
I pureed raspberries in my food processor and then fine strained the puree into a bowl to remove the seeds.
I used approx. 10 oz. of berries.
Stir berry puree and vanilla into hot pudding until smoothly blended. Cool, cover, and chill until cold, at least 1 1/2 hours or up until next day. ( I refrigerated for 4 hours before I churned)
Pour into a 1-quart or larger container of a frozen cylinder, self-refrigerated, or ice- and salt-cooled ice cream maker (use 1 part salt to 6 parts ice). Crank or process according to manufacturer's directions until gelato is softly frozen and hard to mix; remove dasher.
Serve or, to firm and mellow gelato, cover and freeze for 1 to 2 hours.
( I tend to freeze mine for a few hours, since I like a more firm Gelato. Conversely, if you find that you have frozen your Gelato solid, simply let it sit a few minutes to soften up. )
Enjoy! You know you want to.... :) As long as there is life... there should be fun! Let's try to keep it healthy fun whenever we can.