May Feast: Strawberry Gelato


The bounty of fresh local strawberries naturally leads to discovering new recipes for this delicious fruit.

Gelato is a refreshing, cool treat for warm spring and summer days, and is not difficult to make with a gelato machine.  The following recipe makes about four cups of strawberry gelato.  Since the mixture needs to chill several hours or overnight, preparing the mixture a day ahead makes the actual gelato-making process quick, with minimum clean-up.

Here’s the recipe:


3/4 cup sugar

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

1 cup whole milk

3/4 to 1 cup heavy whipping cream*

2 1/4 cups sliced and hulled strawberries

2 Tbsp. pomegranate juice (for color) or lemon juice**

1/2 tsp. vanilla


Stir 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch in a heavy medium saucepan.

Whisk in milk and cream.  Whisk over medium heat until gelato base thickens and begins to bubble, about 5 minutes.  Keep whisking so the mixture does not stick.

Pour into bowl.  Cool over ice, stirring occasionally

Puree strawberries in a food processor, with 1/4 cup sugar.

Strain into gelato base (if you do not want seeds).***

Mix in pomegranate juice or lemon juice.

Stir well, cover, and chill 3 hours or overnight or longer.

Process in gelato maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Gelato can be served immediately or transferred to a container until firm.  Thaw about 15 minutes before serving.

*Note 1: I experimented with adding a little more whipping cream, and the mixture was a bit creamier without making the mixture too runny.

*Note 2: The mixture is very “strawberry colored” already, so I did not add the pomegranate juice, but I did add the lemon juice.

**Note 3: I did not strain the puree.


Photograph by Molly Grogan Rawls.

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