Get the recipe for this creamy marzipan gelato with a fresh raspberry sauce swirl. The almond and raspberry complement the rich, frozen dessert and take you straight to the streets of Italy.
I’m sitting here with a fan blowing hot, humid air on me. It is slightly better than the alternative – still air that hangs heavy and thick around me like a cloud – but barely.
Try as I might to create a bit of order and structure to our long summer days, I’m finding that they run together. It is often mid-afternoon before I work things out and start accomplishing any sort of task at hand, instead slogging through from soccer practice to swimming to lunch to cello lessons to watering the garden.
My garden is feeling the neglect. If I’m honest, every year around this time I’m frustrated waiting for the first tomatoes, tired of pulling crab grass and other volunteer weeds from the beds, and generally not amused by the onslaught of pests and fungal infections created by hot, humid temperatures. There is a pumpkin growing through our fence and onto the neighbor’s yard. The only one, too. My sunflowers are stunted. The radishes gone to seed. Green beans picked. The strawberries have long gone dormant, and the raspberries are getting ready to close up shop. My pokey zucchini and crooked-neck squash blossom and blossom, but I’ve yet to see the fruits of these efforts. The only prolific plants are the peppers and the cucumbers this year, and I can only eat so many cucumbers before I start imagining how wonderful they’d taste if they weren’t a cucumber.
While I may be limited to my backyard and home state for summer vacation, my table needn’t have the same restrictions. We’re sending off July with a trip to Italy, embracing the origins of my favorite dessert. Perhaps chocolate is your dessert of choice. For me it’s gelato, ice cream, Italian ice, custard, sorbet, sherbet, semifreddo, granita. If it’s sweet and frozen, I’m in.
This gelato gets its flavor profile from one of my favorite summer combinations: fresh berries and creamy almonds. Whether I use them in frangipane tart or toast them sliced to sprinkle on crumbles or crisps, I never get tired of combining the two. The rich creamy profile of the almond complements the tart, sweet berry. They work well in frozen form, too.
Creamy and cool on a summer’s day, we scoop it into cones and dishes, hurrying through each bite as they melt nearly as fast as I can spoon out the servings. Fingers licked, we’re back to lying in front of the fans, lounging with our summer reading lists, sketching on pads of creamy white paper, and typing away to the white screen, filling it with bits of here and now.
Oh, July. You seemed to drag on forever, unforgiving and stifling with plenty of mosquito bites. Full of late nights, sweaty sheets, encephalitis for my youngest, swollen cheeks for my oldest, norovirus for the middle two lest they be left out, and getting hit from behind and thrown from his motorcycle for the husband, I’m not sad to see you go. Bring on August. If you need me, my body may be sitting in my hot home, but my heart and house are full, and my tongue is vacationing in Italy because the freezer is stocked with gelato.
I’m imagining the rolling green hills of Tuscany, rivers reflecting ancient stone cities, crumbling ruins, and a vibrant life as I sit in my backyard sharing the origins of gelato and ice cream with my kids. Someday we will experience all that Italy has to offer, but for now, we’re happy to enjoy a small piece of it as we sit on the patio and let the breeze cool as August rolls in.
Marzipan Raspberry Swirl Gelato
- 2½ cups whole milk
- ½ cup cream
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
- 4 ounces marzipan
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- For the raspberry sauce:
- ¼ cup fresh raspberries
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- In a heavy-bottomed pan, combine the whole milk and cream. Bring just to a simmer over medium heat.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar and the yolks until thick and pale yellow. When the milk is simmering, remove from heat and slowly temper the yolks by adding a small bit of hot milk to the yolks while whisking. Repeat until eggs are warm, then slowly incorporate the egg mixture into the pan of milk, whisking continuously.
- Return the pan to low heat. Add a ¼ cup of the mixture to the marzipan and mix until smooth. Add the marzipan to pan. Continue to cook over low for 10 minutes, until all sugars have dissolved. Stir in salt and almond extract.
- Cool and then transfer to heat-safe container. Store in refrigerator overnight or for at least 4 hours.
- In a small saucepan, combine raspberries and sugar. Use the back of a spoon to smash ⅔ of the raspberries. Cook until sugar dissolves and a thick sauce is formed. Remove from heat and cool.
- To make the gelato: Process the almond gelato base in an ice cream or gelato maker as directed. Immediately spoon into a pre-chilled pan or container. Drop teaspoonfuls of the raspberry sauce over the ice cream as you fill the pan. Swirl with a knife at the end. Cover and freeze until hard.
This post was created in partnership with Expedia as part of their World on a Plate Challenge. We’re celebrating Italy this month, obviously. (Not that it needs to be said, but all words, thoughts, opinions, recipes, and wanderlust are mine and mine alone.) Follow along at #expediaworldonaplate on all of your favorite social networks.