We enjoyed fine music, wine and food the first week in December at the annual Music, Merlot, and Miele Fundraiser. The fabulous kitchen at Miele was the setting for my cooking demo of elegant Rosemary Skewers of Monkfish, Ciabatta, and Pancetta drizzled with a Balsamic Reduction, and our to-die-for Cannoli Gelato - recipe follows - please give it a try!
This easy and impressive dessert would be perfect to serve with holiday baked goods and chocolates, which seem to mysteriously accumulate at this time of year...
|Pistachios, Chocolate, Candied Orange Peel, and Sesame Brittle were accompaniments|
1.5 quarts of French Vanilla ice cream
(ice cream used to come in half gallons - now they are 1.5 quarts! - I recommend Breyers.)
1 1 / 3 cups good ricotta cheese
(recommend Italian brand Galbani, available at ShopRite - it's exceptionally smooth not grainy.)
3 ounces coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate
(I used Guittard chocolate bars, a good brand of chocolate makes a big difference!)
1 / 4 cup candied orange peel, diced
(in the baking or seasonal aisle of the supermarket - or you can make your own.)
1 / 4 cup coarsely chopped pistachios, preferably unsalted
1 / 2 tsp. vanilla
1 / 4 tsp. cinnamon
1. Chop or scoop the ice cream into pieces and let soften in a large bowl about 5 minutes, just until soft enough the mix.
2. Add the ricotta and mix well. This "deflates" the air in the ice cream and makes it more like Italian gelato.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well again, smoothing the top. Cover with plastic wrap (to prevent ice crystals from forming) placed directly on the surface of the ice cream.
4. Freeze 30 minutes or until very cold but not frozen solid; the gelato should be served soft and creamy, not rock hard. Have fun and serve with accompaniments like cookies, candied orange peel, brittle, and/or chocolates!
Note: If making in advance and frozen hard, thaw in refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes, or turn out onto a cutting board, then cut the gelato into pieces and mix for a minute or two until you get a soft-serve consistency.
Adapted from Restaurant Favorites at Home by the Editors of Cook's Illustrated Magazine.
Wishing you great food, fun, and friendships this holiday season,