This recipe was an accident. It was one of the happiest accidents, since the gingerbread rugelach of ’12. It was quite a process but the results were sooooo worth it.
The story begins with the idea of making gelato. Simple enough? I found an adaptable base to follow, thought I would unitize last season’s frozen blueberries to make way for this years buckets. Yes, we pick buckets, doesn’t everyone?
The recipe calls to combine sugar and cornstarch (most likely simply stirred, not melted into a caramel) before adding the liquid. My next logical step was to melt the first ingredients into a golden syrup. Doesn’t everything taste great with caramel? You would think so, but blueberries not so much. I had my suspicions and thankfully my blueberries were already roasted. It was not good. Ever think lemon and chocolate would be a winning combination? No? Me neither. Don’t try it.
So, why not make use of my over-ripe peaches, roasting them with some lemony thyme and honey? They taste good with cheese on a flatbread, why wouldn’t they taste good with caramel? Again, theoretically this doesn’t sound so terrible, but it really wasn’t a flavour I’d like to revisit. After cutting, mixing and roasting the peaches, herbs and honey I blended them up to a swirl-able consistency. The smell was a bit baby-food-esque so I tasted the two components. I’m almost certain I cringed. Partly out of disappointment as well as it simply being a foul taste. It wasn’t even salvageable as a condiment. As a side note for a lovely appetizer, I suggest not roasting these peaches and adding the thyme to the honey, upon which you do this to the works.
I’m not sure why I was so adamant about making this a complex flavour. Probably because I had just poured over this website, wanting to make EVERYTHING . Unfortunately, shipping ice cream to Canada from the US isn’t terribly feasible. It was after the peach mush debacle that I a) didn’t have any fruit left to contribute and b) still wanted to make blueberry gelato and needed to salvage this mess before doing so. In desperation, I thought I’d add some salt. Why this wasn’t my very first instinct is beyond me. I blame the gourmet artisan ice cream. After a generous pinch of salt I swirled it around and tasted it. I’d like to say I daintily used my pinky but we all know there was a soup spoon involved.
Despite wasting an undisclosed amount of time (2 hours minimum) trying to concoct something extravagant and interesting, I wasn’t as bummed out as I expected after the whole ordeal. Perhaps it’s the fact that the end result was so unbelievably simple and amazing. I really should take my own advice and utilize quality ingredients. My advice? Salted caramel wins. Always.
Salted Caramel Gelato
Adapted from epicurious.com
Make roughly 2 1/2 cups
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 1 cup whole milk
• 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
• 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1. On medium heat, stir sugar and cornstarch in heavy medium saucepan.
Let sugar melt and turn into caramel, about 3-5 minutes.
Whisk in milk and cream.
2. Mixture will bubble and caramel may seize up but it will smooth out after about 1 minute of constant whisking
3. Whisk over medium heat until gelato base thickens and begins to bubble, about 5 minutes.
4. Let mixture chill before adding to ice cream machine, at least 2-3 hours, more if time permits.
5. Process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to container.
6. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.