Inspired by a recent visit to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus and a number of ingredients I had onhand, I decided to make a trio of frozen concotions.
The flavors are pomegranate-peach, chocolate mint and chocolate. Jeni’s has a flavor called “backyard mint,” and the chocolate mint I used is literally growing in our backyard.
The recipe I used for the mint gelato is here (with a bit of cheating: I heated the milk and steeped the mint for eight hours, not 24), and the chocolate gelato recipe is here (with a pinch of salt added). Both were made with Snowfield Creamery whole milk.
I came up with the sorbet recipe as a way to utilize free pomegranate juice.
1 lb. ripe peaches
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 t. kirsch, peach schnapps, vodka or lemon juice
Boil together water and chopped peaches, covered, for 10 minutes until peaches are cooked. Press peaches through a food mill or fine mesh strainer to strain out peels. Add remaining ingredients and purée with stick blender, food processor or blender. Chill until cold and churn in your ice cream maker. Makes a little over a pint.
You can just peel the peaches initially and skip the food mill / strainer step, but cooking with the peals adds a lot of flavor. Some kind of alcohol is preferable to the lemon juice as it makes the sorbet freeze softer.
Everyone really liked all of these flavors, especially the freshness of the peaches and mint. The chocolate is deceptively rich for being made with no cream and not very much sugar. You need a good cocoa powder, though, to make the gelato work well (I used Scharffen-Berger as specified in the recipe). I tried once using cheap cocoa and it turned out so flavorless and bitter that I added honey and some cinnamon. You can find other recipes for chocolate gelato that work well with any cocoa powder, but they will be higher fat, higher sugar, and more difficult to make.