Saturday, March 16, 2013

Meyer Lemon Gelato

I've been wanting to branch out lately and explore new flavors and ingredients that I haven't tried in the past.  Meyer lemons are a fruit that I've been intrigued by for a few years but had yet to taste in any capacity.  Every winter when these colorful fruits are in season I see countless recipes featuring them popping up blogs.  This year I decided it was time I finally gave them a try...

Meyer lemons are a cross between a traditional lemon and a mandarin orange.  They offer the expected tartness from a lemon with a bit of sweetness from an orange that helps to balance the sourness.  Upon my first few bites of this ice cream, and my first taste of a Meyer lemon, I was amused at just how distinctly the flavors of lemon and orange were combined.  The bright and tart flavor of the Meyer lemon is a lovely contrast to the rich, creamy base of this gelato.  Together the flavors dance on your tongue and awaken your tastebuds.  If you're a fan of tart desserts, this cold citrus treat will surely win you over.

Meyer Lemon Gelato
via Stylish Cuisine, adapted from Taste of Home
yield: 1 1/2 quarts

1 cup whole milk
1 cup granulated sugar
5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons grated Meyer lemon zest
3/4 cup fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice
2 cups heavy whipping cream

In a small saucepan, heat the milk to 175 degrees.  Stir in the sugar until dissolved.  VERY slowly whisk the hot milk mixture into the beaten egg yolks.  Return the hot milk/yolk mixture to the saucepan and add lemon zest.  Continue to cook the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches at least 160 degrees and coats the back of a metal spoon.

Remove mixture from the heat and allow to cool slightly, for about 15 minutes.  (You may instead speed up the process by placing the pan in a bowl of ice water for 2 minutes.)  Strain the mixture into a clean bowl; stir in the lemon juice and cream.  Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Process the chilled base in your ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer's directions.  Transfer the gelato to a freezer-safe container, cover and freeze for 2-4 hours before serving.

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