Friday, May 9, 2014

Sweet Fridays

My husband has been feeling a bit nostalgic about our recent trip to Italy (which I promise to write about someday).  He's found himself in the kitchen whipping up fresh pasta, bolognese sauce and recently this amazing gelato.  With summer around the corner for most or knocking down our door here in Southern California, gelato is the perfect cool down dessert.  

A recent trip to the farmer's market delighted us both with beautiful organic red ripe strawberries.  Of course my first thought was to make a cocktail with them.  However my husband had other plans.  So to make us both happy he mixed up the perfect boozy summer time dessert.  It's fresh, sweet, and creamy with just the right amount of kick.  

As we head into the weekend, I think everyone could use a little something sweet that can also double as a cocktail(ish).   Enjoy!

Boozy Strawberry-Vanilla Bean Gelato

3 cups hulled and sliced strawberries
1/2 cup Tito's Handmade Vodka
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 vanilla bean
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Place the strawberries into a food processor and blend until pureed.  Add the vodka and pulse to combine.  Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl place the sugar and cornstarch.  Stir to combine. In medium sauce pan add the sugar and cornstarch mixture with the whole milk and heavy whipping cream.  Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise.  Scrape the beans into the sauce pan then drop the whole bean into the mixture. Whisk all ingredients together.   Over medium heat cook the mixture until it begins to bubble and thicken, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes.

Transfer the gelato into a mixing bowl, discarding the vanilla bean pods.  Place the mixing bowl with the gelato into larger mixing bowl filled about 1/3 with ice, allowing the mixture to cool to room temperature.  Stir occasionally.

Once cooled pour the strawberry vodka mixture into the gelato mixture.  Stir to combine.  Pour the gelato into your ice cream maker.  Follow the manufacturer's instructions for your ice cream maker until your gelato is ready.  Makes about 1 quart.