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Affogato With Homemade Gelato

Affogato is probably the simplest of desserts with the exception of putting out a platter of whole fruit. You simply brew some fresh espresso and pour it over gelato. How easy is that?  You can of course buy commercially prepared gelato or ice cream but why not make your own? Ice cream makers are inexpensive and so easy to use and you can easily whip up a batch of ice cream or gelato, sorbet or sherbet flavored as you like it. This recipe has a custard base as gelato should have, and I am keeping it simple by making vanilla which is the base for any flavor you want to make, if you want coffee or espresso flavor, just add 2 tbs of instant espresso coffee to the warm custard, but I won’t complicate things, so here is my recipe for vanilla gelato. You may notice when you order a cup of espresso in a restaurant or coffee house that they serve it with a small strip of lemon zest, the lemon brightens the flavor of the rich coffee.  I added a little lemon zest on top of the gelato for the same effect. I hope everyone enjoyed the recipes this is the final entry in my week long journey, I have learned a lot and really had fun doing it.

Makes: One quart


1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cup whole milk

5 large egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

2 tsp pure vanilla extract


A pot of freshly brewed espresso coffee

a few strips of lemon zest

Scoop of gelato per serving

Separate your eggs and place the yolks in a mixing bowl, add the sugar and beat with an electric mixer or whisk until its thick and creamy and a beautiful light yellow color. Pour the cream and milk into a saucepan and heat on med/high until it’s scalded, not boiling.

Pour half of the scalded milk and cream into the egg yolk mixture whisking constantly, you are tempering the eggs. Whisk well and pour into the pan with the rest of the hot milk. Cook on medium heat using a thermometer so that it reaches a temperature of 170-175 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer stir constantly with a wooden spoon, you will notice it starting to thicken and when you can draw a line on the back of the spoon and it stays intact (doesn’t run) its ready. Remove from heat, add the vanilla and pour into a bowl. Cover the custard with plastic wrap sitting directly on top of it. Let it come to room temperature and then refrigerate over night or for at least 6 hours it should be cold around 40 degrees when you add to the ice cream maker.

To make the gelato follow manufacturers directions for your machine.

Place a generous scoop of gelato in a bowl, using the zester or microplane add a little lemon zest on top of it, Pour hot espresso over and enjoy.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Love, love, love this!

    March 4, 2012
  2. EmilyC #

    I had never heard of affogato until Amanda posted about it on Food52 about a year ago. I got a Nespresso Pixie for my b’day in November, so now it’s super easy (and tempting!) to make affogato all of the time. I’ve never tried the lemon zest on top, but I love that detail. Your gelato recipe also sounds really good!

    March 5, 2012
    • Thank you, It’s one of my favorite desserts, so easy and delicious. The gelato recipe is so good. I use the same recipe to make all different flavors. It’s funny I see most people throw the little piece of lemon zest aside but it’s so good in the sweet coffee. Thanks again.

      March 5, 2012

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