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Passionfruit Gelato


Passionfruit Gelato


Words and Photos by Fred Chang

Between spending the summer in the micro-sauna known as Boston and taking summer classes, I found myself feeling a tad homesick. I missed being able to go to the beach, sit in the sand, bask in the California sun, and enjoy a scoop of ice cream. Since the beach was too far, I figured, why not make ice cream? After perfecting sorbets, I went on to trying my luck with gelatos. A gelato is made with a creme anglaise base (a thin custard sauce), with more milk than cream or egg, resulting in a creamier texture than traditional ice cream. Passionfruit are readily available in Taiwan, where I was born, while here in Boston, one can purchase them from WholeFoods or Roche Bros. markets. Combining tart yet crunchy passionfruit seeds with the creamy and rich vanilla gelato made for a beautiful combination.

Passionfruit Gelato

Vanilla Gelato Base:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon milk powder
3 egg yolks
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

Heat heavy cream, water, and milk powder over a stove at medium heat until the mixture releases steam -- be careful not to over boil! In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks, salt, and granulated sugar until it forms into a thick trail. Gently pour half of the steaming hot milk into the egg yolks and continue whisking. Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the warm pot of milk and cream and continue whisking over high heat until the mixture is just thick enough to coat a spoon. At this point, whisk in the vanilla extract and take pot off heat, and transfer the base to a clean pan. Cool to room temperature and freeze overnight. Once the ice cream base is frozen solid, roughly after 4-6 hours of freezing, transfer to a food processor and blitz until smooth and creamy. At this point, transfer the base back to the freezing pan and fold in the passionfruit jam. Store in the freezer until set, roughly 1 more hour of freezing.

Passionfruit Jam:
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 passionfruits
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
a pinch of salt

Stir together ingredients. Reduce in a pot for 5-10 minute over medium heat, or until the mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon. Set inside refrigerator and chill completely. Once cooled, fold the passionfruit jam into the set ice cream base.