Friday, January 02, 2009

I Heart Gelato

Pistachio gelato


A bowl of pistachio after deshelling, blanching and deskinning.

Deshelling and deskinning take a lot of time and patience. A bowl took me almost a couple of hours.

Cashew nuts after blanching

Pistachio and cashew purée.

I added honey, hot water and a pinch of salt into the mixer. Chill the
purée after.

Heated gelato base (milk, granulated sugar and cornstarch) before being chilled overnight

After frozen overnight, add the pistachio puree and a few drops of citrus juice (lemon or orange is fine) to the gelato base.

Finally, freeze the gelato in an ice
cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. I don't have an icecream maker, so I freeze it in the freezer.

Yes, I do love gelato. I'm not a fan of icecream, but gelato is a different story all together. What's the difference, you may ask?

It's common to hear people referring to gelato as Italian ice
cream. There are significant differences between gelato and icecream. Gelato contains less fat than icecream, has less incorporated air, and is served at a higher temperature. Gelato provides a greater flavour experience because there is less fat coating the tongue, more flavourful per spoonful due to less air, and the taste buds are more 'alive' since the temperature isn't so cold as to dull their sensitivity. Not to mention fewer calories to burn!

cream is usually made in large industrial batches, uses ingredients designed for lengthy storage, has limited flavours, and is stocked for sale in supermarts. Authentic Italian gelato, on the other hand, is produced fresh practically everyday in relatively small quantities, is sold directly to the public, and is available in large number of flavours usually based on fresh ingredients that make the gelato creamy and colourful.

It is therefore correct to maintain a clear distinction between the two products, even linguistically. (Sources:

The weird thing is, I don't really like pistachio on its own, but I love pistachio gelato. Living in a state where gelato is an alien word to many of its occupants, I decided to make my own.

Oh boy, you need a lot of time and patience if you'd like to make your own gelato all from scratch. By that, I mean deshelling, blanching and deskinning a substantial amount of pistachio. I've had cuts on my thumbs from deshelling. I don't think I'll make this again in the near future. Too much work.

Although the pistachio gelato didn't taste anything like store
bought ones, I love the smooth homemade pistachio purée.

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