mascarpone gelato, like vanilla, only creamier

It’s been in the upper 80’s for the past few days which prompted me to bust out my ice cream maker– hot weather = ice cream time. So many flavors to choose from, so many mix-in options, but I was wanting something simple and straightforward, something that might go well with pie. I found a recipe I had cut out from a 1994 issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine (apparently even as a young teen I was a Martha fan) for mascarpone gelato. Winner!

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Mascarpone is a soft Italian style cheese that is similar to cream cheese, though smoother and more fresh tasting. The rest of the ingredients for the custard base were exactly what they would be for vanilla gelato (vanilla bean, whole milk, heavy cream, egg yolks, and sugar) and the mascarpone is added at the very end when you chill the custard to prepare it for your ice cream maker.

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The resulting gelato tastes like the best vanilla ice cream you’ve ever had, except creamier and richer. Ah-mazing. Will definitely pair nicely with the rhubarb pie I’m planning to make this weekend!

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Mascarpone Gelato (from 1994 issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine)

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup mascarpone

In a medium saucepan, heat milk and vanilla bean and scrapings. Bring to a gentle boil, cover, and remove from heat. Steep for 30 minutes.

Combine egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat at medium-high speed until very thick and pale yellow, 3 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, return milk to a simmer.

Remove vanilla bean. Add half the milk to egg-yolk mixture and whisk until blended. Stir into remaining milk and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon.

Remove from heat and immediately stir in cream. Pass mixture through a strainer into a medium bowl set over an ice bath to chill. Whisk in mascarpone until completely blended, then freeze in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Store in a plastic container.

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