Paula Roy: Whole Foods in Half the Time


Easy Vanilla Gelato with Salted Caramel Sauce

One surprising ingredient makes the creamiest gelato ever

by: Paula Roy
Vanilla Gelato recipe

My family prefers gelato because they find it's usually a little less sweet than ice cream. I love it because it's full of flavour, yet typically lower in fat. Vanilla is our go-to choice, but only because we love to drizzle homemade chocolate or caramel sauce over top. I thought I knew all I needed to know about making great gelato at home but I was wrong - I read about a nifty little trick - adding a few tablespoons of top quality extra-virgin olive oil - to the mixture. Guess what? It's awesome! The best gelato ever. Really. It's so good I might even consider skipping the caramel sauce from now on.

Creamy Vanilla Gelato 



2 1/3 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 2 tsp good-quality extract
3/4 cup sugar
7 egg yolks (save the whites for meringues or other uses)
3/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp top quality extra virgin olive oil



 Combine milk, cream and sugar in large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often.

 While the above mixture is heating, whisk egg yolks and salt together in medium size heat proof bowl.

 Gradually whisk in 1 cup of the warm milk mixture into eggs, and then return egg and milk mixture back to the pot and cook, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, until custard reaches 185°F.

 Immediately strain custard through a fine strainer into a heatproof bowl. Add vanilla paste or extract.

 Place the bowl inside a larger bowl that has been partially filled with ice water. Stir the mixture every 10 minutes or so until it is colder than room temperature.

 Stir in olive oil and transfer the mixture to a smaller container. Cover and refrigerate until very cold (at least 6 hours; overnight is ideal).  

 Freeze gelato in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

 Pack into a freezable container and freeze at least 1 hour before serving.

 Serve as is, or drizzled with salted caramel sauce.

Makes a little more than 1 litre.

Salted Caramel Sauce

easy caramel sauce recipe


3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp water
1 cup heavy (35%) cream
1/2 tsp good salt (Maldon, fleur de sel, etc.)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract



 Put sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Melt sugar over medium heat, swirling pan occasionally so sugar heats evenly.

 As the sugar begins to turn amber, swirl more often and pay close attention to the pan so it does not burn – the goal is a dark amber colour and just ever-so-slightly scorched aroma. If you burn it, start over, as burnt sugar is not the taste you want here.

 When the melted sugar is dark amber, add the cream. Be careful as the mixture will bubble and spatter.  The caramel may also seize (harden slightly) but it will remelt as you cook in the cream.

 Over medium heat, cook the caramel sauce, stirring often, until it is smooth and any hard bits have melted. Remove from heat and stir in sea salt and vanilla. Let cool; pour into a clean glass jar and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 6 months.

 Reheat gently in the microwave.

Makes about one cup of sauce

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