fior di latte ice cream

How to make ice cream: a guide to making Italian fior di latte gelato

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Looking for a new culinary challenge this summer? This classic Italian ice cream recipe is just the thing.

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Perfecting homemade ice cream is a task lots of us have tried over the years. But it’s worth taking the time and making the effort to get it just right, because there’s almost nothing better than knowing you have soft, creamy homemade ice cream stored away in the freezer on a hot day.

This is what Letitia Clark realised when she was putting together her new recipe book, La Vita e Dolce: Italian-Inspired Desserts. As part of her exploration into Italian food, she created her own take on fior di latte ice cream, a dessert that she describes as “the favourite of every Italian child.”

“Fior di Latte ice cream is pure white and really milky,” Letitia explains. “It’s delicate, sweet and deliciously childlike.”

Letitia uses rosemary in her recipe to make the ice cream taste a little bit more sophisticated. “I love eating this ice cream in the summer with fresh figs or grilled peaches or pairing it with fresh strawberries and raspberries,” she adds.

Here, Letitia shares her recipe for fior di latte ice cream and her expert tips on how to perfect the dessert.

What you will need to make fior di latte ice cream

Makes around one litre of ice cream (10 servings).

  • 700ml milk
  • 200ml cream
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, washed
  • 200g sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 25g cornflour

How to make fior di latte ice cream

  1. Bring the milk, cream and sugar to a simmer in a pan.
  2. Mix the cornflour with a ladleful of the hot milk liquid, and whisk well until completely smooth.
  3. Add this to the saucepan and continue to cook over a low heat, whisking continuously, until the mixture thickens to a custard consistency.
  4. Add the salt and the sprig of rosemary and remove from the heat.
  5. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes at least, before straining – pressing well to extract all the flavour of the rosemary – and churning in an ice cream machine.
  6. Serve.

Letitia’s expert tips for making Fior di Latte ice cream

There’s no need for an ice cream machine

If you don’t have an ice cream machine, Letitia says that you can absolutely still make this recipe. Letitia explains that it’s made with cornflour which means the ice cream will have a nice consistency even without churning it. If you would like to churn it, Letitia recommends that you put it in the freezer and remove it every 30 minutes to mix it in a food processor or until you have reached your desired texture.

Letitia Clark cooking
Letitia lives between Sardinia and England.

Store your ice cream properly

Perfecting your ice cream recipe is important. But Letitia explains that how you store your ice cream will be just as crucial to its overall taste. “Freezers have their own flavour, which is really bizarre,” Letitia says. “Your ice cream will absorb that flavour unless you cover it really well,” she says.

Letitia recommends storing your ice cream in a plastic tub, and adding a piece of parchment paper that touches the surface of the ice cream before putting a lid on top of that. 

Give your ice cream time out of the freezer before eating it

“About 50% of the pleasure of ice cream is the consistency and the texture,” Letitia says. Because of this, she says that it is important to take your ice cream out of the freezer at least 10-15 minutes before you’re going to serve it.

“Remind yourself halfway through your main course to grab your ice cream out of the freezer and put it into the fridge,” Letitia advises.

For more expert-led guides and tutorials, follow The Curiosity Academy on Instagram.

  • Letitia Clark, chef

    Letitia Clark
    Letitia Clark's latest cookbook sees her find modern twists on classic Italian desserts.

    Letitia is a chef, writer and illustrator based between Sardinia and England. Her first book, Bitter Honey, was published in April 2020. Her second book, La Vita è Dolce, a celebration of Italian-inspired desserts, was published in June 2021. 

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Images: Letitia Clark

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