Here's a match made in Vermont: creamy maple-ginger gelato with crispy maple-pecan cookies. Comfort food for the wilderness.
Gelato appeals to me because many of the flavors don't require egg yolks, and it uses less cream than
standard ice cream does. I own a few books with gelato recipes, but they all seemed more like ice cream, which I found unsatifactory.
So I tried research: Gelato is mostly milk with some cream, has quite a bit of sugar in it, and dry milk solids are added. There are different temperatures for cooking the bases for different types of gelato. Many of the references were in Italian, and I don't speak Italian. I looked at the types of bases commercially available, and thought about the basic things I already knew; whatever I did, I knew I didn't have the patience for cooking a base and then waiting for something boiling hot to cool off enough to go in my ice cream freezer. It's so not me.
There was a photograph of a big factory with smokestacks, where they make the gelato bases. I thought it must take heavy equipment, and possibly nuclear power, to convert ingredients into the magic substance, gelato base. Then I woke up. According to Wikipedia, "...the Florentine cook Bernardo Buontalenti is said to have invented modern ice creams in 1565, as he presented his recipe and his innovative refrigerating techniques to Caterina de' Medici." So we can all relax. This is definitely pre-industrial revolution food. Just my kind of thing.
Maple Ginger Gelato
- prepare Ice Cream freezer
1 cup caster sugar (very fine sugar, dissolves easily)
1 cup dry milk powder
2 cups fresh milk
3/4 cup Vermont maple syrup, grade B
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 T crystallized ginger, finely chopped
1. In food processor bowl, combine the caster sugar and dry milk powder. Process until very fine powder.
2. Add the milk, one cup at a time, and process until smooth.
3. Add the maple syrup and cream; process until smooth.
4. Add the chopped crystallized ginger, and pulse a couple of times, just to blend in.
5. Pour all into the ice cream freezer, and freeze until firm; place in freezer to complete hardening.
The gelato is extremely delicious, but the cookies are addictive. My husband told me to hide them.
But here's how to make them:
Maple Pecan Crisp Cookies
Heat oven to 375F
Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper, then spray paper with cooking spray.
Get out a pastry bag with a large plain tip, for piping out the cookies.
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup Vermont maple sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup chopped best-quality pecans (must fit through piping tip)
small pinch of salt
1 T Vermont maple syrup, grade B
1. In electric mixer bowl, combine butter and brown sugar. Mix until well-blended, about a minute
2. Add maple sugar, mix in.
3. Add the egg and maple syrup. Mix until very smooth, about 2 minutes
4. Add the flour and salt. Mix until blended.
5. Add the chopped pecans and mix briefly to incorporate.
6. Place mixture in the pastry bag, and pipe into finger-length lines on the parchment, about 2 inches apart. Do not crowd the cookies, because they will spread quite a bit during baking.
7. Bake at 375F for about 8 minutes, or until browned around the edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the parchment, then remove.
8. Serve with gelato, and Enjoy!