Some combinations are so perfect that they're almost synonymous with each other.
For me, summertime and lemon is one of those combinations - my memories of childhood summers are filled with tall pitchers of pale pink lemonade ever-present in the fridge, crinkly packages of lemon-scented "S" cookies and the mouth-puckeringly tart lemon sorbet that emerged from my parents' Donvier hand-crank ice cream maker.
There was great prestige in being the one who got to turn the crank handle on the Donvier, so the privilege was diplomatically doled out between my sister and myself. I have to admit I had a moment of childish glee when I bought a Donvier of my own a few years ago, and realised I wouldn't have to compete with anyone over cranking rights. :)
Sometimes it's nice to sit back with a cold drink and let the machine do the hard work on its own, though, which is why I jumped at the chance to try out the Cuisinart Pure Indulgence™ Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker . With a generous 2 quart capacity, a heavy-duty motor, and a large ingredient spout built into the lid for last-minute mix-ins, this is an ice-cream lover's dream machine.
I thought long and hard about the right flavour for our new ice cream maker's maiden voyage, and eventually settled on this Lemon-Rosemary Gelato as a nod to my still-puckery memories of lemon gelato.
I know the combination of lemon and rosemary seems oddly savoury at first glance, particularly when paired with olive oil waffles as I've done here, but this trio is not at all unusual in Italian desserts - think citrus-scented olive oil cakes with a hint of rosemary, or tangy lemon-rosemary granitas with olive oil cookies.
I borrowed part of the technique for the gelato from David Lebovitz, who uses the lemon-sugar trick to make his Super Lemon Ice Cream in The Perfect Scoop - whizzing the lemon zest and finely chopped rosemary into the sugar allows the flavours to infuse throughout the finished gelato, creating an unmistakeably lemony flavour touched with just the faintest hint of rosemary. Stirred into a very simple rosemary-infused gelato base, the end result is light, creamy gelato with a pure unmuddled flavour and an almost ethereally fluffy texture thanks to the continuous churning motion of the Cuisinart.
Sandwiched between two golden-brown crisp waffles, it lets me indulge my inner child's craving for summery lemony desserts and ice creamy treats without sacrificing my grown-up tastes.
BTW, you might notice I'm using a slightly unusual gadget to make my waffles. Yes, the Cuisinart Griddler can make waffles too! All it takes is a set of special waffle plates, which transform it into a lean, mean, waffle-making machine that turns out four perfectly golden Belgian-style waffles at a time. As if I didn't have enough reasons to love my Griddler as it is!
Yep. Some combinations are just meant to be - a tall glass, clinking ice cubes and a pitcher of pink lemonade; rosemary sprigs, fresh lemons and olive oil; and a Griddler, waffle plates and an ice cream maker. It's a perfect summertime trifecta.
I was provided with a Pure Indulgence™ Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker and Griddler waffle plates by Cuisinart Canada in exchange for creating this post. All opinions are 100% mine.
- 2½ cups half-and-half cream, divided
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 lemons, rinsed and scrubbed
- 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 tbsp corn starch
- Pinch salt
- 2 tbsp limoncello (optional)
- 2 cups flour
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1¾ cups buttermilk
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- In a small saucepan set over medium-high heat, heat 2 cups of cream until wisps of steam start to rise from the surface. Remove from heat, then add rosemary sprigs and set aside to steep for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine lemon zest, chopped rosemary and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until very fine. Add lemon juice, and continue processing until the sugar is dissolved.
- Once the cream is infused, remove the rosemary sprigs and discard. (If a skin has formed on top of the cream, remove and discard this as well.) In a small mixing bowl, combine the remaining ½ cup of cream with cornstarch, and whisk until smooth.
- Bring the infused cream back to a simmer over medium-high heat. As soon as the cream comes to a simmer, quickly whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking constantly, for 5 to 6 minutes or until the mixture is slightly thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Immediately stir in the lemon-sugar mixture, salt and limoncello, if using.
- Transfer the custard into a mixing bowl, and cover with plastic wrap, resting the wrap directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Transfer to the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or until thoroughly chilled.
- While the custard is chilling, prepare the waffles.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, olive oil and eggs. Pour into the bowl of dry ingredients, and mix thoroughly until the batter is smooth and free of lumps. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat a Griddler fitted with waffle plates to 400F.
- Once the Griddler reaches the desired temperature, scoop 1¼ cup of batter into the centre of the waffle plate, and smooth out to cover the waffle plate grid using a heat-proof spatula. Close the Griddler, and cook waffles for 3-6 minutes, depending on your preferred doneness. Repeat until you have a total of 12 waffles.
- Arrange the waffles in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with paper towel, and set aside to cool while you finish making the ice cream.
- Pour the chilled custard into the freezer bowl of the Cuisinart Pure Indulgence Ice Cream Maker, then turn the machine on and churn for 20-25 minutes, or until the custard reaches the consistency of thick soft-serve ice cream. (Or, if using a different model ice cream maker, freeze the custard as per the manufacturer's directions.)
- Working quickly, scoop ½ cup of ice cream onto a cooled waffle, and spread out evenly into a thick layer. Gently place a second waffle on top to create sandwich. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap or parchment paper, and immediately transfer to the freezer to chill for at least 2 hours to allow the gelato to set up.
- Repeat with remaining waffles, to make a total of six. Leftover gelato, should you have any, can be transferred to a freezer-safe container and stored in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.