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Sweet Corn Gelato

This Sweet Corn Gelato is a silky smooth treat with an intriguing savory touch that will give you a delightful new reason to await corn season every year. {Jump to Recipe}

Sweet Corn Gelato // FoodNouveau.com

Summer is the season of abundance everywhere, but especially in northern countries. Every year, I cook and bake with summer produce like my life depended on it. Few things make me happier than homemade summer treats: a freshly baked batch of Wild Blueberry Financiers, a spoonful of Rosé, Strawberry, and Rhubarb Compote, or a generous slice of homemade angel food cake showered with fresh strawberries.

Summer veggies have a hold on my heart, too. I love to turn cherry tomatoes into frittata or casseroles, zucchini into salads, savory bread pudding, or even cake (!!), and corn into chowder and risotto. Corn grown in Quebec is especially sweet and I basically gorge myself with it every August. Ever since I was a young child, my family’s been holding a yearly épluchette de blé d’inde around Labor Day weekend. The get-together starts with outdoor games in the afternoon, followed by the shucking of pounds and pounds of corn, which is then boiled and devoured in record time. Hamburgers, hot dogs, an impressive array of salads, and desserts are also part of the equation. There’s always way too much food, but this is part of the fun. Nobody leaves the épluchette hungry.

Though my love runs deep for buttered corn on the cob, I also very much enjoy cooking with corn, but I had yet to use it in desserts. I’d been playing around with corn dessert for a while, but then I became obsessed with the idea of corn gelato. I heard about sweet corn ice cream a while ago, but I’d never seen it in local ice cream shops. I thought it was time to give it a shot.

Sweet Corn Gelato // FoodNouveau.com

I started with my favorite Sicilian-style gelato base, which I love because of its amazingly silky and relatively low-fat content. It tastes rich and indulgent but doesn’t leave you feeling guilty for eating three scoops! Inspired by a recipe in the Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream cookbook, I infused the heated milk and cream with corn kernels and chopped corn cobs for maximum flavor. I fished the cobs out, then blended the mixture to as smooth a texture as I could reach. I then strained the mixture for maximum creaminess and finished the custard for churning. As usual, I let the cooked custard cool completely and then refrigerated it overnight. This extended refrigeration/resting period is what guarantees the silkiest, creamiest gelato. You can’t rush gelato—but I swear the extra wait is worth it!

This sweet corn gelato has an intriguing flavor that has you pause after your first spoonful, while your brain tries to identify that savory touch. After the second spoonful, you’re hooked.

I loved serving it with a combination of salted butter popcorn and caramel popcorn, but you might prefer one or the other, depending on whether you like your desserts on the sweeter side. This sweet corn gelato is also delicious garnished with fresh summer fruits, such as blackberries, blueberries, or diced peaches, or topped with a lightly sweetened fruit puree.

If you like desserts that walk a fine line between sweet and savory, I strongly invite you to drizzle peppery extra-virgin olive oil over the gelato and sprinkle it with flaky sea salt, such as fleur de sel. This treat is what my dreams are made of!

Sweet Corn Gelato // FoodNouveau.com

Video Class: How to Make Gelato: Tips and Recipes to Make the Delightful Italian Frozen Treat // FoodNouveau.com

Never made gelato before? Curious about what makes gelato different from ice cream? Check out my detailed video class: How to Make Gelato: Tips and Recipes to Make the Delightful Italian Frozen Treat. In it, you’ll find out what makes gelato different from ice cream, how to make a versatile gelato base you can turn into a variety of flavors, and all my secrets and tips to churn and serve outstanding gelato. I even share how to make dairy-free vegan gelato! In short, it’s a very thorough, colorful class that will quickly turn you into a gelato master. Watch Now!

Sweet Corn Gelato

Prep

Cook

Inactive

Total

Yield 2 quarts (1.89 L)

This Sweet Corn Gelato is a rich and creamy treat with an intriguing savory touch that will give new a delightful new reason to await corn season every year.

Ingredients

  • 3 ears fresh sweet corn, shucked
  • 2 1/4 cups (560 ml) whole milk
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) cornstarch
  • 1 egg yolk (from a large egg)

Instructions

Slice the kernels off the corn cobs. You should get about 2 cups (500 ml) corn kernels. Break or cut each corncob in half.

In a medium saucepan, pour 2 cups (500 ml) of the milk and the cream, then add the corn kernels and the corncobs. Warm over medium heat until it just starts to bubble around the edge (no need to bring it to a boil). Turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for 15 minutes.

Fish the corncobs out of the warm corn cream and discard. Blend the corn cream to as smooth a consistency you can reach. Using a high-speed blender provides the best results, but you can use a regular stand blender or a hand blender too. Strain the corn cream through a fine mesh strainer back into the saucepan and set over medium-low heat. Add the sugar and salt and cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar is fully dissolved, about 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1/4 cup (60 ml) milk with the cornstarch. Whisk into the corn cream. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.

Place the egg yolk in a medium bowl and whisk until lightens in color, about 1 minute. Temper the egg yolk by slowly pouring one ladleful of the hot corn cream into the yolk, whisking constantly, then slowly pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan, whisking to combine.

Remove from the heat. Let cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or preferably overnight.

Whisk the cool corn custard for a few seconds. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into the bowl of an ice cream maker (straining the mixture one last time will ensure a silky-smooth sweet corn gelato). Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Stop the machine when the gelato is icy but still soft.

Transfer the gelato to an airtight container and freeze until firm, about two hours.

STORAGE: The gelato will keep, frozen, for up to two weeks.

SERVING: Always take the gelato out to room temperature 10 to 15 minutes before serving to soften it and make it easier to scoop.

Courses Dessert

Cuisine Italian

More Delightful Gelato Recipes

Blueberry Gelato

Blueberry Gelato // FoodNouveau.com

Rhubarb Gelato

Rhubarb Gelato: A seasonal treat that sings of spring! // FoodNouveau.com

Dark Chocolate Gelato

The strongest hit of cocoa you’ll ever taste, short of biting into a square of dark chocolate: Dark Chocolate Gelato // FoodNouveau.com

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