First I feel like I should share with you guys that a little salt is so incredibly key to this gelato. I mean, I remember thinking nothing could go wrong with brown sugar and cinnamon, and to be fair nothing went “wrong” per se, but the second time I made this I added some salt and WHOA what a difference a little seasoning makes in the grand scheme of ice cream goodness.
You want the salt. Trust me.
Second, can we just go ahead and call this healthy ice cream? I mean, it’s made with whole milk but at least it’s not heavy cream, right? And any time you can make it a tad healthier I think we should just call it healthy. So there we go. It’s out there now – gelato = healthy ice cream. And all of that is to say there’s no judgement should you catch yourself eating the whole batch in one sitting. Diet shmiet!
I must say, the flavor of brown sugar is just so round – it’s not all up in your face like the granulated stuff, it’s not after-taste Hades like you find with most sweeteners. It has a whole smooth flavor from the molasses, something deeper and more powerful than most other sweet things out there. I honestly have never seen it used in ice cream and jumped all over the chance with my first batch of gelato! The flavor is so complex just by just changing out the type of sugar – isn’t food fun like that?! One small change can completely transform a dish and give it new life!
With this particular recipe I also recommend simmering a few cinnamon sticks in the milk rather than using ground cinnamon. It certainly works with the ground stuff and is very tasty, but I liked the texture better when it didn’t have the cinnamon grit in it. Again, not a huge deal but something worth mentioning. Besides, if you ever need another use for a bunch of cinnamon sticks (besides gelato, obviously) you can always make some homemade Christmas potpourri. Who am I to judge when I have a pot on the stove most of the time?!
I guess all I’m getting at here is that I think you may be running out of reasons to not make this amazing gelato. It’s healthy(ish), super easy, and so very good. Just remember the salt!
CINNAMON BROWN SUGAR GELATO
- 3 cups whole milk (yes, you want whole milk and not nonfat/lowfat)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4-5 cinnamon sticks
Heat 2-1/2 cups of milk, the brown sugar, the salt and the cinnamon sticks over medium low heat until almost simmering, stirring occasionally. It will smell like a latte (if you’re into latte-sniffing) and small bubbles will form around the edges. While the milk is heating, stir together the remaining milk and cornstarch. When the milk is hot, remove from the heat momentarily and whisk in the milk-cornstarch mixture. Place back on the heat and cook until the mixture is thick and coats the back of a spoon, about 8-10 minutes. Strain the mixture to remove lumps and the cinnamon sticks, then pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to cool in the fridge overnight. Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions until it’s the consistency of frozen yogurt. Pour into a plastic container with a lid, press plastic wrap on top, and freeze for about 3-4 hours. Serve cold!