Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Blackberry Gelato - A Year in the Making

They say nothing worth having comes easy. While I'm sure whoever coined this phrase was talking about some profound concept like love or peace or wisdom, I assure you, it is quite applicable to homemade gelato. If you read yesterday's post, you already know that 5 cups of blackberries have been impatiently awaiting their frozen transformation.

The first step of the process, other than the gathering or purchasing of berries, is to purée and then strain the berries to remove all of the seeds. According to the recipe, 4 cups of berries would yield approximately 2 cups of strained purée. I used all @5 cups, just to be safe. After running the berries through the food processor, I strained a little at a time through a fine mesh strainer. 

Just keep straining, just keep straining...
This process is pretty tedious and my wrist got a little fatigued from holding the strainer. I'm sure there is an easier way to do this, but I was constrained by time, as Sesame Street was dangerously close to ending. Anyway, straining the seeds out took about 20 minutes, after which I discovered that I only had 1.5 cups of purée. *facepalm*
Close enough

I ran outside and quickly picked about half a cup of berries from our yard and repeated the process. 1.75 cups. Ugh! So I put the seeds back in the strainer and mashed the crap out of them until I had just about 2 cups. Wiping the sweat from my brow, I set it in the refrigerator and went to pick my daughter up from summer camp.

The next step of the process involves whisking 6 egg yolks together and combining them with sugar and half and half that had been heated up and combined on the stove. I honestly cannot remember the last time I separated eggs. So 9 eggs later, I had 6 egg yolks ready to go. I managed to combine them with the sugar mixture without creating scrabbled eggs, and while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, I waited for the mixture to thicken and reach 180 degrees.

Don't want scrambled eggs...
It is important now to remind you that I have 2 small children who are literally running circles around me in the kitchen. After the mixture comes up to temperature, heavy cream, powdered milk, and more half and half are added to the pot. I had already measured them out and had them placed beside the stove on the counter ready to go. Then this happened:
Did I do that?
That mess is probably 1/8 of my cup of heavy cream, which the little one had discovered was in his reach and therefore irresistible. Lesson learned. The girl starts crying because the milk landed on her foot. The boy is crying because the milk is all over his face and head. And I'm still stirring and trying to make sure I don't scramble the eggs in the pot, so the milk has to stay. Suck it up kids, Mommy is on a mission. Hastily and with one hand, I re-measure the heavy cream, toss the rest of the ingredients in the pot, and then switch to clean up mode while the pot sits.
Just keep straining, just keep straining...
Ten minutes later, floor is clean, counter is clean, boy's hair is clean, and the pot is ready to be strained. Yep, more straining. This time I set the strainer on top of the bowl, which was much easier. After this mixture was strained, I added the 2 cups of blackberry purée that I literally bled for, and some vanilla. The recipe called for 2 drops of red food coloring to enhance the color, but I didn't see the point of that, so I left it out. Quick taste test = yum. Now the bowl has to sit in the refrigerator for 5-6 hours before it can be put in the ice cream maker.

The above portion of this point was written before this last step. Based on the time I have spent thus far,  and the fact that this process has been kind of a pain in the butt, I feel confident saying that unless this gelato is AH.MAZING, I will not be making it again. Time will tell...
Ready to be chilled.
Fast forward 5.5 hours. The directions say 6 hours, but I couldn't wait any longer. Got the cooled mix out of the refrigerator, remembered to put the frozen cylinder in the ice cream maker ( a whole 'nother story), and poured it in. Fingers crossed...20 minutes later.

Oooooohhhh...heaven in an ice cream maker. Thick and smooth and delicious! I transferred it to another container so it could firm up in the freezer for a while, but I could only wait 10 minutes. So, it was still very soft, but it was, in fact, ah.mazing.

Will I make it again? It was A LOT of work and I still have some other blackberry recipes I want to try. But you know what they say about what's worth having...

- MortarBored Mom

*If you would like to make this recipe, and are somewhat of a glutton for punishment, here is the link to the recipe book for my ice cream maker. I used the raspberry gelato recipe as a guide.*



  1. Oh my! Glad it was good. Not sure if I could've waited so long :P

  2. That looks frickin' AWESOME and I am sad that I do not have any of it.

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