Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Time to Make the Gelato!

A year. Truly...its been a YEAR.

That’s right, a year ago, the Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto was published and I got my greedy little hands on a copy just as fast as I could. And I was determined to make a new batch of gelato every week over the summer.

How many did I make?

I know, I’m a terrible slacker, but really, it was probably the best decision for my waistline. Ciao Bella makes the most fabulous gelatos, and that is a commodity that is very hard to come by in this neck of the backwoods. So, when they released a cookbook, you know I jumped at the chance to make my own version at home. After all, I already had an ice cream maker.

What’s the point here? Oh yeah... I’m getting an early start this year.

I’ve had an idea brewing in my demented little mind for awhile now, but I am one of those people that just can’t eat cold foods like ice cream and gelato during the cold months. Can’t do it. Not even at birthday parties.

Did you know that it was warm enough yesterday to open up my house? I’m not sure what the temperature peaked at, but I even had my fig tree out on the deck, sunning itself for awhile. First day of Spring.....

Time to make the gelato!

Last summer, I was blessed with an enormous quantity of blackberries, brought to me by one of our dear friends, which I promptly proceeded to rinse and freeze in pie-size Ziploc bags. I had about sixteen of them in my freezer. I’ve only used a few of them up and, with summer looming, its time to get those moving into the rotation. First up, naturally, is gelato. Well, ok...sorbetto.

Ciao Bella’s Blackberry Cabernet Sorbetto is one of my favorite flavors, and I have been dying to make my own. Minus the Cabernet. Why? Because I had an idea I liked better.

See, at the Market on the Square (I know, I know, I should shut up about the place already, right? No!) they carry wines from several local vineyards; one of which being the Piasa Winery. (That’s PIE-uh-saw to those of you who aren’t from the area. The Piasa Bird is a mythical bird of legend that was supposedly described by Lewis & Clark, if I have my local history right. That’s debatable though, since I suck at history.)

But, I digress.

The lovely folks over at Piasa Winery make a Port. A CHOCOLATE-INFUSED port that has become my new best friend. I know you’ve got this one figured out already, right? Yep, I reduced an entire bottle of their Dreamcatcher Port (don’t stress, its only a half-size bottle) and substituted that for the Cabernet in Ciao Bella’s recipe.

Blackberries, Port, and CHOCOLATE. Really, I mean, how could that possibly be bad? It can’t. Only in the sense that it makes me want to eat it all....

So, I’m going to be a good girl and share. I froze the sorbetto into smaller containers and I delivered one to the good people over at Market on the Square for their own warm-weather pleasure.

Its like the old saying that I hold so dear.....

“I love cooking with wine....sometimes I even put it in the food.”

Blackberry Port Sorbetto
(adapted from the Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto)

6 cups blackberries
1 TB lemon juice
Simple syrup (about 1 ¼ cups)
½ cup reduced Dreamcatcher Port

Simmer a bottle of Dreamcatcher Port (about 1 ½ cups) over medium heat until it reduces to about ½ cup. Chill.
In a food processor, puree the blackberries and lemon juice until smooth.
Pour through a fine mesh sieve, pressing to release the juices and discarding the seeds. Chill.
Whisk together the port, berry puree, and simple syrup, then process in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Spoon into containers and place in the freezer to firm up.


Jeanne said...

I totally got that same book out of the library. I got it out TWICE. how many times did I make gelato? zero. So at least you are better than me!
this batch looks great!

Kim said...

Yes! Yes! Yes! I like the way you think Beth.

Ginny said...

Will there still be some left when I get there in a couple weeks?