If it’s time for Baketogether; what the heck am I doing with another gelato? Well this month I guess it should be called #Freezetogether! You could blame Cuisinart because I got one of their new ice cream machines, you could blame me because I can’t stop using said ice cream machine but really? It’s all Abby Dodge’s fault. Too warm to bake, she suggested we do a cool treat for the end of summer…and THEN my obsession took over; in that order.
What can I say; this is just amazing. Light, just slightly boozy, effervescent and so pretty; it was a delightful dessert. Ive been inspired to make gelatos because they call for milk and not heavy cream and that cuts the calories drastically. Don’t worry though, I’ll have my ‘favorite ice cream of all time that can’t be found anywhere but by George I think I did it’ on here soon and it’ s going to make up for the sorbets and gelatos with heavy cream, butter, brown sugar and half and half business but it is SO worth it. Until then…well, I could eat a LOT of these!
During the course of developing this recipe, I admit I was unsure about the best course of action with strawberries so that people would not break their teeth on strawberry rocks. Strawberries are primarily water so they do become literally rock hard and I don’t care for that which is why I ended up chopping and then pulsing; I wanted itty bitty pieces. As I was looking for advice, I read a sentence on a VERY well known authors site which basically said, ‘I’m not sure why people change what I do; I spend a lot of time developing and testing recipes to get them right.’ Well maybe because for many of us cooking is not about reading other’s words and following them to a ‘T’ but simply using them for inspiration and then bringing our own tastes and experience to the table. Simply following someone else directions would be flat out boring! Thanks Abby for supporting that effort and not imagining we are somehow offending you in the process. XOXO!!
I had an itch to make an ice cream treat using Ricotta…seeing Abby’s Ricotta Panna Cotta with Raspberry “Brezza Fresca” seemed the perfect opportunity. Instead of panna cotta, I made a ricotta and limoncello ice cream with strawberries and then topped mine with a mix of strawberries, limoncello and prosecco. You know one reason why this is so much fun? Because so often I’ll get the cocktail done, the photo taken and only then try it; HOPING I actually like it and when I do? When I REALLY do…it’s a definite moment. This was that moment. By the way…that angled business, in a champagne flute? Sure it looks pretty but having to do it in a freezer? Priceless. Just use a sherbet bowl or even a cocktail glass and keep it level. You will not regret following that advice, trust me.
Lemon Ricotta Gelato with Strawberry Sauce
Ricotta and Strawberry Ice Cream is topped with a luscious Strawberry and Limoncello Sauce.
For the Lemon Ricotta/Strawberry Ice Cream
- 2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp Limoncello or vodka (Optional though I've found that a bit of alcohol in ice cream sure helps to keep it from becoming hard as a rock!)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup finely chopped strawberries
For the Strawberry Sauce
- 1/2 pint strawberries, rinsed and dried
- 1/3 cup (1 3/8 ounces) confectioners' sugar + more to taste
- 2 tablespoons Limoncello or vodka + more to taste (I used 3T's but that might be a bit more than you like)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Pinch table salt
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- Prosecco, Cava or sparkling water
To Make the Lemon and Strawberry Gelato:
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, place ricotta, sugar, vanilla paste or extract, lemon zest, lemon juice and limoncello. Process until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the processor bowl with a silicone spatula. Add milk and process again until thoroughly blended.
- Transfer mixture to an ice cream machine and process according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Add chopped strawberries after ice cream is finished and run machine until they are just incorporated. Remove finished product from maker and put into freezer safe container.
- Freeze at least 4 hours.
To make the strawberry sauce:
- Put the strawberries, confectioners’ sugar, limoncello or vodka, lemon juice and salt in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth and well blended. Taste and add more confectioners’ sugar or liqueur accordingly. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve over a small bowl or 2-cup measure, pressing firmly on the seeds. Discard the seeds. Stir in the lemon zest and cover and refrigerate until ready to serve or up to 3 days.
- Mix the strawberry mixture with an equal amount of Prosecco and stir until blended. Fill the glass with the strawberry mixture and serve with a spoon.
This can easily be modified if you prefer a non-alcoholic dessert. Simply skip adding the Limoncello or vodka to the mix. You might want to add a touch more of lemon juice to taste but it should also be fine without it. Serve using a sparkling soda instead of prosecco.