Food & Drink
Tre’s Vanilla Gelato
Published: July 31, 2013
I don’t want to talk about how hot it is outside. That’s old news. Let’s talk about how to cool down. You might have already read several of our blog posts that offer refreshing and delicious solutions, but they usually involve a) putting pants on, b) leaving the house, c) suffering for several minutes while your car’s AC kicks in, d) driving to said cool spot, and e) getting out of your car and braving the Mordor-esque temperature. Let’s just say I don’t envy folks with leather seats.
Here’s a simple solution: homemade vanilla gelato. OK, it’s not entirely easy, but it’s definitely worth attempting.
This recipe comes straight from the Tre Trattoria-Alamo Heights (4003 Broadway) kitchen where executive chef Mark Weaver and pastry chef Catarina Paxton serve up three variations of a classic gelato base as well as sorbets.
As Weaver put it, you’re looking at a basic custard recipe, the ratios tweaked for gelato. The goal is to make a creme anglaise, taking your time to temper the eggs slowly so as to not end up with a batch of sweet scrambled eggs. Once the eggs are tempered and you return the mixture to a heat source, watch it like a hawk, and stir, stir, stir. I’m dead serious. Assuming you’re not a pro at reaching nappe (the French term for coating the back of a spoon), don’t even think about moving from that stove. Don’t—unless you have to save a child/pet/significant other from falling into a well/down the stairs/off a ladder.
Reaching nappe can take anywhere from five to 10 minutes. Once that’s done, the key is to get the mixture as cool as possible without shoving it in the freezer (you want to avoid the formation of ice crystals). While I don’t recommend running out and getting a $1,200 gelato maker, especially since a hand-crank ice cream maker works just as well, I do recommend patience and lots of it.
Or save this recipe for a rainy day, and head to Tre for scoops of gelato in original vanilla, Nutella (because, obviously) and currently, passion fruit.
10 egg yolks
1 ¾ cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 pints milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Heat milk and cream just to the point of boiling.
Whisk yolks, sugar and salt in large bowl. With a ladle, slowly temper (incorporate) milk mixture into egg mixture constantly whisking.
Add all ingredients back into heavy bottomed pot on medium heat and continuously stir, making sure to scrape bottom and all sides of pot to prevent scrambling. Continue this process until the mixture is nappe (or coats the back of a spoon).
Strain through a fine-meshed sieve and cool.
Follow manufacturer’s instructions on your own gelato or ice cream machine.