As we move into the summer months and the weather starts to warm up we start to look forward to some of the warm weather treats we love so much. In Italian culture a beloved favorite is Gelato. Served all throughout the country and in as many variations as you can fathom, gelato is a closely held tradition. One favorite summertime flavor is strawberry, known in Italian as ‘fragola’. Give this simple Gelato alla Fragola a try with our simple and fun recipe. For a thicker and creamier result we recommend using entirely heavy cream. If you’d like something on the lighter side, using yogurt in place of the cream is a great option. Of course, fresh strawberries will always offer the truest, richest flavor. That being said, you can replace fresh fruit with frozen if you need to.
What You’ll Need
- 2.2 ounces sugar
- 6 tablespoons of water
- ½ pound of fresh strawberries
- 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
2.2 ounces of powdered sugar
- In a saucepan over low heat combine the sugar and water and mix until it becomes a thick syrup. Once this occurs, turn off the heat and let it cool completely.
- Blend the strawberries using a food processor. Some people choose to use a sieve to remove the seeds from the berries, but this is optional.
- Combine the blended strawberries with the sugary syrup. Mix gently until the syrup covers all parts of the strawberry blend.
- If you have an ice cream maker this is where you should break it out! Combine all ingredients into the ice cream maker and follow the device’s instructions. If you’re making this the old fashioned way, mix the powdered sugar into the heavy cream in a medium bowl and whip it with a whisk until slightly frothy. Once whipped, combine the strawberries and the cream and mix gently together with the whisk.
- Move your gelato to a freezer friendly container and allow four hours for your gelato to harden.
In addition to enjoying your fresh, strawberry gelato we thought you might enjoy a bit of history around this beloved treat. As with most things in Italian culture, the history of gelato dates back to the 1th century. Most stories tell the tale of Bernardo Buontalenti, a Florence born chef, who impressed the court of Catherine dei Medici with his brand new frozen snack. As the newly minted dessert gained popularity among Italian families it spread throughout the boot shaped country. The first chef to sell it to the public, however, was Sicilian born Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli. His small pop-up gelato shop gained him notoriety. His exquisite chef skills made his product not just the first of its kind, but likely the best of its kind. Resultingly, he was summoned to Paris where he was asked to reproduce his recipe for French society at large. His first cafe, opened in 1686 called Cafe Procope, quickly became one of the most prominent cafes among literary society. Cafe Procope is still open to this day and still serves some of the world’s best gelato!