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Last month, we spent a few days visiting some friends on Cape Cod. One evening, we ventured over to Provincetown for dinner – followed by dessert at a little gelataria. It was there that I had my first taste of some amazing Sweet Corn Gelato!
Fast forward a few weeks – and I’ve been dreaming of that Sweet Corn Gelato ever since! It was fantastic…sweet, with a distinctive corn flavor that reminded me a little of Captain Crunch cereal, but with a luxurious, creamy texture. I’ve also been plotting the perfect opportunity to try making Sweet Corn Gelato at home. 🙂
So the other day, I saw some great-looking fresh sweet corn in the produce aisle at my local supermarket. Another shopper was standing next to the bin, shucking some ears of corn before loading up a big bag. As I walked up, she commented to me that she had bought some of that corn the day before, and it was so sweet and delicious – she came back to buy even more!
That endorsement was all I needed to grab more than a few ears of fresh corn on the cob for myself – with of course, the plan to (finally!) try making some Sweet Corn Gelato.
After looking around on line, I found a this Sweet Corn Gelato recipe by Mario Batali shared over on The Splendid Table. Just about every recipe of Mario’s that we’ve tried in the past has been wonderful – and this one is no exception.
This Sweet Corn Gelato gets that unmistakable corn flavor by steeping corn kernels and cobs in hot milk before mixing it into a sweet, rich custard base. This recipe is just as good – if not better – than the gelato I enjoyed a few weeks ago.
- 3 ears sweet corn, husked
- 3 1/2 cups whole milk, plus more if needed
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 8 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Following this method, slice the corn kernels off the cob. Break the cobs into 2 or 3 pieces.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk just to a simmer. Remove pan from heat, add corn kernels and the corncob pieces – pressing the cobs down into the milk, then cover and allow to steep for 45 minutes.
- Once the 45 minutes has passed, remove the corncobs from the milk and discard. Carefully pour half of the corn and milk mixture into a blender and blend on high until the kernels are emulsified. Place a coarse strainer over a large bowl and pour blended mixture through the strainer. Discard the corn mush. Repeat process with remaining half of the corn and milk mixture.
- Measure the amount of corn-infused milk – adding more milk if necessary to make 3½ cups. (Note: When we measured, we actually had closer to 4 cups of corn-infused milk. We used the entire 4 cups in our gelato.)
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat corn-infused milk, heavy cream and 1 ¼ cups of sugar, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is hot. (This will take less than 5 minutes – do not bring to a simmer or boil.) Remove from the heat.
- While the milk mixture heats, whisk the egg yolks and the remaining ¼ cup of granulated sugar, and the salt together in a medium heat-proof bowl.
- Take about a cup of the hot mixture and very slowly drizzle it into the bowl with the egg yolks – constantly whisking while you add the hot mixture. (A slow drizzle will prevent the eggs from cooking as you add the hot cream mixture.)
- Once your egg mixture is smooth, slowly pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the hot cream mixture.
- Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the it thickens a bit and coats the back of a spoon. (This will take less than 5 minutes as well, and again, do not bring the mixture to a simmer or boil, or it will curdle. If using an instant-read thermometer, you will want to stop when it reads 185 degrees F.)
- Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture through a fine strainer into a bowl (a large measuring cup like this one works great because you’ll have a spout for pouring the cooled custard into the ice cream maker once it has cooled).
- Immediately place bowl into an ice bath to cool, stirring occasionally. Once cool, cover the bowl with a large piece of plastic wrap, pushing the plastic down to touch the top of the custard. (This will prevent a skin from forming on the custard as it cools.) Refrigerate overnight.
- Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. After churning, freeze again for 4-6 hours before serving.
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