Monday, August 9, 2010

Key Lime with Graham Cracker Gelato

Happy Monday all! I hope everyone had a lovely weekend.

We spend the weekend on a little road trip down to Oregon. We had a family wedding to attend and we decided to drive from Seattle as Oregon always provides a lovely view.

While Mr. Humble and I really enjoy road trips, this was the little Humble's first one and she didn't approve of the long hours spent in a car seat. Toddlers seemingly can't take in sights at a distance, they want to get out and run around.

So we satisfied her when we could, the rest of the time we plied her with ice cream.

Little Humble: Powered by sugar

...and six hundred miles with a two year old requires a lot of stops and ice cream.

Road side soft-serve is never as good as homemade though. So now that I'm home, we're whipping up a batch of key lime gelato.

After finding a dozen of these little tart, acidic key limes being offered for only a few dollars last week, I knew I had Monday's post in the bag. For a while now I've been itching to make Ciao Bella's famous key lime graham cracker gelato.

The flavor of the gelato, like the key lime, is decidely tart. If your palette leans towards sweeter ice creams, you might want to skip this one. However, if you're of the sort who loves bright, tart, creamy key lime with a graham cracker crunch, this will not disappoint.

Key Lime with Graham Cracker Gelato

from The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto
yields roughly one quart
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, preferably Key lime (about 6)
2 teaspoons grated lime zest
3/4 cup crushed graham crackers, frozen

heavy cream for garnish (optional)

Combine the milk and cream in a medium, heavy-bottomed sace pan and place over medium low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming until tiny bubbles starts to form around the edges of the mixture (170°F).

While waiting for the milk and cream to come to temperature, in a medium heat-proof bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Gradually add the sugar, whisking until the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Temper the egg yolks by very slowly pouring in the hot milk mixture while whisking continuously. Return the mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and it reaches a temperature of 185°F. Do not bring to a boil.

Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer (to remove any egg chalaza or other undesirables) into a clean bowl. Gently whisk the lime juice and zest and allow to cool to room temperature, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Once completely cooled, cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight. (To speed this up, place the mixture into an ice bath, stirring occasionally until very, very cold)

Pour the mixture into the container of an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Immediately after churning, stir in the graham cracker chunks and transfer to an airtight container. Freeze the gelato for at least 2 hours before serving.

Serve with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream, if desired.



  1. See, key limes are almost always a bag of a couple dozen for just a dollar or two here in Texas. Back when I was active and could burn the calories, I'd make roughly one rummy key lime pie a month over the long hot summer, and enjoy one slim slice for breakfast and another (larger) after my long hot walk home from work in the evening.

    Bluebell (our regional ice cream) also makes a killer key lime ice cream, with a swirl of plain sweet cream ice cream and graham cracker chunks throughout. But I've been dying to try making some of my own, so I've got to try this.

  2. *so jealous*

    Key limes are rarely a good deal up in the Pacific Northwest, if you're even lucky enough to find them.

  3. Yum, what a great pairing! Ahhhh, and now something new to try with homemade grahams . . . I wonder if they will hold up as well as the store bought variety?

  4. I think so long as they're pre-frozen, homemade grahams will hold up just as well as the store bought variety.

  5. Oh rats! I've been wavering between a new lens and an ice cream maker for a birthday present. This just exacerbates the pain. Why can't I have both?

  6. This sounds so incredible! I bet the texture of the graham crackers in there is totally badass!

  7. This is just more than I can handle! Looks awesome! Its making me wanna ice cream straight from the bowl...

  8. I am sad to say that I have never, ever tried gelato, although I am quite desperate to do so.
    Perhaps I will just make some? And this recipe looks like the perfect one to start with!!

  9. Yum...As someone lucky enough to live in South Florida and have key limes available I am going to have to try this.....

  10. Just found out that Bluebell isn't making it's key lime ice cream this summer!! Boo. So I'm going to try this soon. Any idea on how to get a swirl of cream running through it? Maybe whipping cream and adding it in the last 5 minutes?

  11. Is the swirl cream? Or is it a swirl of vanilla ice cream?

  12. I've had Blue Bell's key lime and it's most likely cream... it's not very sweet at all and a stark white.

  13. Oh man, I love love LOVE key lime and graham cracker together. Now I just need a actually take the plunge and buy an ice cream maker...


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