Just another single, polyglot, xenophilic, Texan in the kitchen...

Just another single, polyglot, xenophilic, Texan in the kitchen...

Gelato al Limone

When I went to Italy a few years ago, I was able to try my very first gelato al limone (Lemon Gelato). It was a hot, dusty day in Firenze (Florence) and gelaterie were everywhere. I stepped up to the nearest one and asked for un gelato piccolo al limone (small Lemon Gelato). I don’t know why I asked for a gelato void of chocolate or vanilla, but the hot weather was most likely a major factor in my decision.
I dipped the plastic spoon in the already-melting, icy, fruity, acidic, milky concoction and brought a rounded, soft portion of gelato to my eager, dry lips. What happened after that is now a blur. The only next thing I remember is walking up to another gelateria for another gelato al limone. The only difference? I ordered a gelato
GRANDE the next time. LOL! This chain-gelato-eating continued a couple more times that day. I was so full off of gelato that I didn’t get to eat hardly any savory items like pizza and pasta! You would think I would have learned my lesson or would have gotten tired of eating gelato, but I ended up doing the same thing on my first day of arrival in Venezia (Venice).

Ever year around this time I think about those gelati (the plural of gelato) and weep silently to myself that I’m too poor of a graduate student to just fly to Italy at a moment’s notice just for more. This year, however, I decided to remedy my gelato problem by looking for authentic recipes written in Italian and stumbled on Federica’s beautiful blog, La Cucina di Federica.
You would think that I would have made the gelato immediately after finding the recipe, but I waited a few weeks before I started juicing the lemons. After churning the gelato mixture, I transferred it to a lidded container, and placed it in the freezer. I tasted a bit of the mixture before I put it in the freezer, and it didn’t impress me much. I was starting to get wary…and disappointed.

HOWEVER, after it had frozen and after I took these photos, I took my first taste of this already-melting, icy, fruity, acidic, milky concoction and brought a rounded, soft portion of gelato to my eager, dry lips. Whoa! Didn’t we already see this line before? Yep. Because this gelato brought me back to that day in Firenze when I tasted my first gelato al limone. It was absolutely perfect that I almost cried. I have to say grazie mille to Federica for sharing such a perfect recipe.
This gelato has a perfect balance of acidity and milky flavors, and the bits of lemon zest are a nice, subtle contribution to the texture. I still want to jump on a plane to Italy at a moment’s notice, but not just for the gelato, but also to try out more of the savory items I had missed out on on my first trip!! You’ve got to try out this gelato. It’s easy to make and doesn’t have any eggs, yet it is still luscious with a lovely texture. Lastly, just like the gelati in Italy, this gelato melts a lot faster than ice cream, so take your photos quickly!

Gelato al limone
translated from La Cucina di Federica (no adaptations were necessary)
Use the ml/litre section in your liquid measuring cup for accurate measurements

juice of 3 lemons (~1/2 cup (120 gr/ml)) including the zest of 1 lemon
~3/4 cup (150 gr/ml) granulated sugar
~1 cup (200 gr/ml) milk
1+ cup (250 gr/ml) heavy cream

Juice the lemons over a strainer or sieve, and remove the seeds.

With a mixer (I used a whisk), mix the sugar, juice, and milk. Cover and allow the mixture to rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture to an ice-cream maker and pour in the heavy cream as it churns. Then transfer the churned mixture to a covered container and freeze for at least four hours. Now gobble the gelato all up before it melts!

Copyright – Memoria James – http://www.mangiodasola.com

Memoria James

0 thoughts on “Gelato al Limone”

  • That sounds so simple! I'm going to have to make room in my freezer for my ice cream container!

    This post reminded me of Eat, Love, Pray. Have you read it? In the first third of the book she eats her way through Rome and consumes massive amounts of gelato. yum!

  • ciao!!! grazie di cuore!!! mi fa un immenso piacere che ti sia piaciuto!!
    Allora quando vieni in Italia ti preparo tutti i gusti che vuoi!!!!
    Se ti fa piacere inserisco il tuo link nel mio!!
    grazie ancora!!
    Un abbraccio!!

  • I cannot think of a better thing to have on a hot day! We all love gelatos and the regular ice creams seems faint near it. DD always orders a lime gelato. what a fantastic recipe.

  • I feel your pain! I had my first lemon gelato in Europe when I was 6 and I've been on a quest since. It haunts me. I'll have to try this recipe and see how it compares.

  • Che buono il gelato!!! Quello al limone è uno dei miei preferiti e adesso che mi hanno regalato una gelatiera la inaugurerò con questa ricetta.

  • This sounds amazing, and the perfect dessert for the coming hot months. Thank you for sharing the recipe-I can't wait to try it!

  • Oh my. Gelato was definitely my favorite thing that I ate in Italy. This is a great way to remedy our poor graduate student state! Love it.

  • I've made a lemon gelati before and been a bit disappointed with it. Too icy and too sweet. My recipe didn't have cream in it though, this recipe makes me think it's worth trying again. Thanks for posting it.

  • I love every single picture of this gelato,Memoria! I want some right now, please? I mean, seriously where is some gelato when you need some–and I do mean that I need some right now!

    I remember eating gelato when my mom and I went to Italy a few years back and I will never forget that one of the ladies on the tour with us treated my mom to a grande lemon gelato served on a cone! My mom loves, loves, loves ice cream, but when she tried this gelato, mamma mia, she thought she was in Italian heaven! I will never forget her sweet, innocent expression of thanks to our fellow traveler who treated my mom to this delectable treasure. Therefore, Memoria, the next time you visit your grandmother, you should make her some gelato and let her float back to those 10 halcyonic days she spent in Italia. I love my mama!

  • After seeing your recipe, I noticed I had all the ingredients! I made it to go with my Italian themed dinner of homemade spaghetti sauce (cheated a bit with a kit from Central Market) and homemade garlic bread (1st time doing this!). It was delicious! My bf said you MADE this? 🙂 Thanks!!! Would love to see more gelato flavors!

  • Marissa – I'm so glad this gelato turned out so well for you!! Your dinner sounds amazing. I will be making more gelati very soon.

  • Oh how I love lemon gelato. When I was in Italy I consumed at least 3 servings a day!
    I am so excited to make this, but wonder how to prevent the lemon juice from curdling the milk.
    Any suggestions?

  • Lee-Ann, the milk never curdled on me. I assume it is because of the sugar crystals or something. I don't know. I thought the same thing, too, until I made it. I hope you make it soon!! It is fabulous! If I didn't have so much ice cream in my freezer right now, I would make it, too.

  • Thanks Memoria! I made the gelato before I had a chance to see this post and you are right,it did not curdle, must be the sugar.
    The recipe is super easy to make and very tasty, although it still was not the same as having gelato in Italy.

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