Strawberry Gelato

Strawberry Gelato

Until just recently, when I made this strawberry gelato, I had only tasted gelato one time ~ while vacationing on the island of St. Maarten.  My son introduced me to it and I loved it.  In fact, I went back for seconds!

A few weeks ago I was searching on the internet for a frozen strawberry custard recipe when I came across this gelato recipe and decided to make it instead.

It had really never occurred to me that I could make gelato in my ice cream machine.  But it was so super easy. And now we’re hooked.  We have plans for making a few different flavors between now and the end of summer.

This gelato is creamy and light and bursting with intense strawberry flavor ~ it’s definitely a keeper recipe!

I knew there were differences between ice cream and gelato but I didn’t know exactly what they were.  They also share similarities.  Below is what I’ve learned, thanks to the info at The Reluctant

The Similarities:

They use mostly the same ingredients yet use different proportions and are combined slightly differently.

The Differences:

Both ice cream and gelato depend on three basic factors:  fat content, air, and temperature.

Fat:  Milk fats are responsible for the creamy smoothness and taste.  Ice cream has a higher fat content {10% or higher} because it’s typically made with more cream and less milk.  Gelato is made with more milk than cream making it significantly lower in fat content {4-6%}.  Also, gelato tends to stay away from egg yokes and if they’re ever added, it’s quite sparingly.

Air:  The varying textures between ice cream and gelato is reflective in their different churning processes. Commercial ice cream is churned extremely fast, which adds volume to it and gives the base a light and airy texture.  Gelato is churned slowly, making it denser and harder to melt.  The at-home gelato and ice cream makers usually churn at one pace but because of the difference in ingredient proportions the textures are still different.  Commercial ice cream can have as much as 50% air whipped into it’s base while gelato has, at most, 30% air churned into it.

Temperature:  Ice cream and gelato have about a 10-15 degree temperature difference when served.  Ice cream is usually served at 10 degrees F, but because gelato has less air and fat it’s served at a warmer temperature.  If ice cream was served at the warm temperature of gelato, it would quickly melt.

One Final Note:  Because there is less fat and air in gelato, the flavors are richer than ice cream. And despite the reduced fat content in gelato, it has a wonderful creamy texture that will melt in your mouth.

Fresh Strawberry Gelato

Yield: about 1 quart

Fresh Strawberry Gelato


  • 3/4 cup granulated
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups sliced, very ripe, fresh strawberries


  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch.
  2. Gradually whisk in the milk and whipping cream.
  3. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble and thickens, about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Pour the mixture into a bowl and cool completely {either by pressing plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerating or nesting the bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice and stirring until it's cool to the touch}.
  5. Puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor until they are very smooth.
  6. Once the gelato base has cooled completely, strain the strawberry mixture through a fine mesh strainer into the creamy mixture. {Use a rubber spatula or the back of a large spoon to press the strawberry puree through the strainer so all the strawberry liquid gets strained into the gelato but the seeds are left behind.}
  7. Stir well.
  8. Cover the gelato by pressing plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate for 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
  9. Process the gelato in your ice cream maker following the manufacturer's instructions.
  10. After it's frozen, scrape the ice cream into a container, cover it, and freeze for at least two hours.



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One Response to Strawberry Gelato

  1. Meredith @ The Palette Muse May 2, 2015 at 8:57 pm #

    This looks delicious! And I was honestly just wondering what the difference between ice cream and gelato was earlier today. So glad to find you on The Weekend re-Treat!

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