Saturday, June 26, 2010

Heirloom Ice Cream Maker and Limoncello Poppy Seed Gelato

My grandmother-in-law was a collector. That woman collected everything - antique furniture, china, vintage costume jewelry. Though I never met GiGi, I have greatly benefited from her. It's hard to say what my favorite thing she gave me is; the mink coat is awesome, then there's the turquoise ring I wear constantly, or the vintage red clutch, (I'd like to say my favorite thing was my amazing father-in-law who in turn gave me my dashing husband, but he would think that's cheesy so I won't say it). One way or another, the gift currently getting the most use is the ice cream maker.

This is no ordinary ice cream maker. No Cuisinart here. GiGi's ice cream maker is the real deal, the same thing I used while working in a professional kitchen. There is no bowl that needs to be stuffed precariously between the peas and ice cube trays in the freezer for 3 days before it can be used. This sucker has a metal bowl that is refrigerated by an internal compressor. It spits out luscious ice creams and sorbets in 15-20 minutes and you can just keep on spinning the flavors one after another, back to back to back. And that's exactly what I've been doing.

I have been making tons of flavors from David Lebovitz's AMAZING book, The Perfect Scoop. If you are into ice cream making, you need this book. Anything you could ever imagine, and then some, is in this book. Anything except Limoncello Poppy Seed Gelato, a flavor that the Muse team knew needed to be created. This is a Freelance Muses original recipe. And come to find out, GiGi's dessert of choice was always anything lemon... perfect.

*paired here with Earl Grey Ice Cream

Limoncello Poppy Seed Gelato

3 cups half and half, divided
2/3 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 lemons, unsprayed
4 tablespoons limoncello
3-4 tablespoons poppy seeds
several tablespoons milk

The evening before making ice cream, place poppy seeds in enough milk to cover, let stand over night. (This step can be skipped in a time crunch)

Combine 2 cups of half and half, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat until mixture begins to steam and sugar is completely dissolved.

In a separate bowl, blend cornstarch and remaining half and half; add the half and half a few tablespoons at a time to ensure there are no lumps. Add cornstarch slurry to the pot. Cook, stirring, until it starts to thicken and barely reaches a boil, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and stir for 5 minutes or until thick.

Immediately strain the mixture through a fine sieve to stop any lumps. Add the zest of 2 lemons, limoncello, and 2-3 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Chill over an ice bath. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Drain any remaining milk from poppy seeds. Once gelato is frozen, remove from machine and stir in poppy seeds.


  1. She would have loved you and been very proud of you. She would have also loved the Gelato!!!

  2. This gelato is delicious, and it tastes just like lemon poppyseed cake. But, of course, it's better, since it's gelato.

    (Good thing you have that great ice cream maker so you don't have to sacrifice the peas for the pea-lafel!)

  3. SO jealous of the ice cream maker...the ones you have to pre-freeze just aren't that great.

  4. My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

    Gelato Machine