Strawberry Gelato Recipe

by Jessica on August 24, 2010

by | August 24th, 2010  

When I’m at home during the summer months, I start each Saturday at my local farmer’s market, and as long as my favorite stand has strawberries I typically come home with several containers. There are several stands at my local market that have strawberries, but my favorite stand has one variety that no other stand has – and they’re the best strawberries I’ve ever tasted.

The trouble with strawberries is that they spoil so quickly, and since it feels like a crime to let such good berries go to waste I try to transform them as soon as I can into strawberry gelato – sometimes even by Saturday afternoon. And even during the summer I have no qualms about spending a little time in the kitchen to turn strawberries into strawberry gelato because this recipe requires no cooking whatsoever.

>> Want to make a whole Italian meal? Check out the other Italian classic recipes I’ve posted!

I first learned this recipe at a gelato class that was taught by the owner of the best gelato shops in Portland (where I currently live), and some of the best gelato I’ve had outside Italy – Mio Gelato. I have modified the recipe somewhat, mainly because I’m lazy, and it still turns out brilliantly. As mentioned, there’s no cooking necessary (even if you use the un-modified version), so it’s easy to whip this up even in hot weather when you don’t feel like going near the stove.

The recipe below is written as I first learned it, and my modifications are listed below that. I also regularly use this recipe to make peach gelato and raspberry gelato, so the adjustments for making both of those are below as well.

Strawberry Gelato Recipe – Gelato di Fragola

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. fresh strawberries
  • 12 oz. granulated sugar, about 1.5 cups
  • 1.5 cup cold whipping cream
  • 1.5 cup cold water
  • dash of lemon juice (only if fruit isn’t “bright” enough)

Directions

  1. Clean and cut washed berries into quarters, or just smaller pieces.
  2. Put berries, sugar and water into a blender or food processor and blend until liquid and smooth. (This is also where you’ll add lemon juice if necessary.)
  3. Whip the cream until slightly thickened – like the consistency of buttermilk.
  4. Combine the cream with the strawberry mixture and mix thoroughly until blended.
  5. The mixture will lose a little of its sweetness when it goes through the freezing process, so if the finished product seems a bit too sweet to you, that’s a good thing.
  6. Freeze as indicated by the manufacturer of your ice cream maker.

My Recipe Modifications

  • I don’t bother whipping the cream, I just pour it from the container into the blender with everything else and blitz it all together.
  • I add a few teaspoons or so of vodka to the mixture (at the same time I add lemon juice) so that it doesn’t freeze quite so hard. If you don’t add vodka, you’ll just need to pull it out of the freezer 10 or so minutes before you want to scoop it so it has time to soften a bit.
  • To make sure the mixture freezes really well, I do all the blitzing in the blender and then stick the mixture into the fridge for a few hours (or overnight) to make sure it’s nice and cold before it goes into the ice cream maker.

Adjustments for Making Peach or Raspberry Gelato

  • To Make Peach Gelato – With any kind of stone fruit, including peaches, you’ll always need to add lemon juice to the mixture. Otherwise, the proportions are the same. If the peaches are particularly juicy, you may want to cut down on the water added by a bit, lest the finished product have too much of an icy texture.
  • To Make Raspberry Gelato – Depending on how lazy you are, you may want to blitz up the raspberries with the water and then strain at least some of the mixture to remove most of the seeds. Every time I’ve used this recipe to make raspberry gelato, I’ve also added more sugar than is listed above (and skipped the lemon juice altogether) because the mixture tasted too tart.

That’s it! No cooking – it couldn’t be easier. It’ll work with pretty much any fruit, you’ll just need to adjust the sweet/sour ratio as you go – and keep tasting it. If you’re dealing with a fruit that has seeds (raspberries) or skin (blueberries), then you’ll probably want to strain the fruit mixture (as I noted above in the raspberry gelato adjustment notes) unless you don’t care about the skin or seeds in the final product. The straining part can be a pain, so I generally just stick to the fruits that don’t require straining, but when I’ve taken the trouble to do it – with the raspberry in particular – the result is simply divine.

One additional note – if you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can still make homemade ice cream. The machines do a fantastic and effortless (for you, at least) job of aerating the ice cream, but you can do an acceptable job without one, too. Just pour the chilled mixture into an airtight container and put it in your freezer. Take it out every so often (half-hour intervals or less, depending on how much it’s freezing between the times you take it out) and give it a really good stir. Then pop it back into the freezer. Keep doing this until you can’t stir easily anymore and then let it continue to harden until you’re ready to eat it.

Good luck with your creations, and let me know how they turn out!

>> Check out the other Italian recipes on WhyGo Italy, too!

top photo by whitneyinchicago, all others by the author


{ 18 comments }

Katie July 7, 2007 at 7:59 am
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This looks like a good recipe – I’ve got some raspberries in my freezer right now so if I can find a decent blender I may try it. I’m not sure I believe you though when you say you only add vodka “so it doesn’t freeze quite so hard” :)

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Lisa September 5, 2007 at 9:02 am
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I just made two different strawberry gelato recipes for a side-by-side comparison post-dinner yesterday, and this one won the contest hands down! Not only was the taste/texture spectacular, but it was SOOOOO much easier to make than the “other entry”. THANK YOU for posting this, Italylogue!

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Jessica September 5, 2007 at 10:57 am
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Thanks for posting, Lisa, and I’m glad you liked the recipe! :)

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Morags GM October 5, 2007 at 10:30 pm
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Hi, your recipe sounds too easy notto try out this weekend – i will tel you how that works out – i am looking for reliable supplier of ice cream machines for commercial use, preferably in UAE / Dubai, india or south africa. my market is east africa. any advice?

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Emily August 25, 2010 at 7:07 am
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Oh my gosh, that sounds absolutely delicious! Right now it’s in the 100s in Austin (yesterday the high was 106 with a heat index of 113!), so strawberry gelato would be a perfect treat for this dealing with this weather. I’ll have to give the recipe a whirl…

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Yetta August 25, 2010 at 9:51 pm
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Thank you very much for this recipe which I look forward to trying.
Having trawled through hundreds of online recipies for gelato, only to find that a great majority of them involve the use of eggs, I finally found a few that did not.
However, your take on gelato making seems to be so simple, and I’m off to find some fruit to have a go today.
Thanks bunches Jessica.
Yetta

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Sriwanti August 26, 2010 at 10:07 am
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Hi.. that recipe sounds soooo easy.. gonna try it this weekend. :) btw, when i went to melbourne, australia i bought this gelato with jasmine flavoured, it’s white in colour… i wonder wat;s the ingredients… any idea?? thank you..

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Debbie Cushman June 13, 2011 at 3:07 pm
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I found your recipe about 2 1/2 years ago after we had been enjoying gelato on our Italian vacation. i wanted to surprise our friends at Christmas and couldn’t buy it anywhere. So, I went online to look for a recipe and found yours! It is fabulous and I have been making it every summer since. It couldn’t be easier or more delicious! Thanks so much! (Here’s a tip: After freezing it in the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker, i put it right into 1/2 cup plastic containers with lids, freeze them and it’s easy to serve and eat. I’ve never used the vodka or lemon juice)

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Jessica June 18, 2011 at 6:30 pm
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I love that you’ve been using this recipe – so successfully – for more than two years! I make this gelato every summer, too. It’s such a treat. I like your tip about the small containers. I do think the lemon juice is usually a good addition for me – the strawberries I get are so amazingly sweet that they usually need a bit of tartness added back in.

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Pam February 8, 2012 at 11:44 am
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There aren’t any fresh strawberries or raspberries available at the moment, would it be okay to use frozen berries?

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Jessica February 14, 2012 at 12:27 pm
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I’ve not done that for this recipe, but it would probably work – it’s better than not having the gelato. :)

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Pearl March 27, 2012 at 5:29 am
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Thank you for the recipe
However, my gelato is pink and not red and I’m a little disappointed, because I was looking forward for that deep red color

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Jessica April 6, 2012 at 12:36 pm
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The color depends on how ripe your strawberries are – if there’s a lot of white on the inside of your berries when you cut them open, the gelato will be more pink. Berries that are deep red all the way through will produce a darker red gelato.

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John June 1, 2012 at 4:36 am
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I want to make a gelato for the girl that I like. Which recipe is better, your recipe or the one I am posting? I hope you can tell me, I am sure your recipe is good, but yours don’t have milk, but I heard in some recipes(not ice cream) when everything is equal portion, usually the taste will be better :-)

http://giulianohazan.com/blog/valentines-day-strawberry-gelato-recipe/
http://www.askchefdennis.com/2011/10/strawberry-gelato/

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Laura July 3, 2012 at 12:24 pm
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I am anxious to try your simple gelato recipe. A question tho…you state 12 oz of sugar is approximately 1 1/2 cups. It seems to me it should be 3/4 of a cup. It seems like a lot of sugar to me compared to other recipes. Looking for your reply,
thanks

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Katie July 6, 2012 at 3:57 pm
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I just returned home from vacation at my parent’s home in Eastern Oregon with about 10 lbs of fresh strawberries. Decided to make this recipe and it is absolutely divine! I saved a bit of the cream/sugar/strawberry mixture in the refrigerator to pour over fresh strawberries. Thank you very much for sharing!

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Michael July 7, 2012 at 8:57 am
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Bought a gelato maker months ago ( a “gelato Pro Model ) Terrable machine, but If I stand there the whole time can make it work. Been making this gelato for months now. LOVE,LOVE,Love it !!!
Makes magnificent Strawbberry, Raseberry, and terrific banana gelato. Trying blackberry , and Peach next.
Although I did lower the sugar to 3/4 cup makes it easier. Also I add 2 tablespoons lemon juice to banana & will with Peach. Not needed in my Strawberry.
Thank you so much for this recipe. Have gotten rid of all my complicated recipes.
THIS IS SO FAST, SO EASY, and SO VERY GOOD. Michael

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mysites August 21, 2012 at 2:28 pm
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I believe that is one of the so much vital information for me. And i’m satisfied studying your article. But want to statement on some general issues, The web site style is perfect, the articles is actually excellent : D. Good job, cheers

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