Recipe: Peach gelato

Using just three ingredients, peach gelato lets the fruit’s pure flavor shine in a refreshing finale. Better yet, it does it all without an ice-cream machine.
(Gary Friedman / LAT)

Total time: 20 minutes, plus 2 1/2 hours freezing time

Servings: 6 to 8

Note: I learned this technique, which skips the ice-cream machine, from Sicilian chef Ciccio Sultano, singled out by Gambero Rosso as one of Italy’s great young chefs, when he cooked at Valentino last year as part of their 30th anniversary celebration. It couldn’t be easier, but the fresh peach flavor is astonishing. The texture should be somewhere between soft-serve ice cream and dense, chewy traditional gelato. Depending on the sweetness of your peaches, you may want to add more sugar.

3 pounds peaches, peeled and pitted

1/4 cup sugar, or more, to taste

1/2 cup mascarpone, crème fraîche or yogurt

1. Cut the peaches into very small pieces. The smaller you cut them, the faster they will freeze and the finer the final texture will be. Arrange the peach pieces in a single layer on a rimmed cookie sheet and freeze solid, about 2 hours.

2. Put the frozen peach pieces in a food processor with the sugar and grind briefly. Add the mascarpone and pulse until the mixture is smooth.


3. Empty the food processor into a small container and freeze again, 20 to 30 minutes, before serving. If the ice cream freezes solid, simply process it briefly again before serving.

Each of 8 servings (using mascarpone): 143 calories; 2 grams protein; 21 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 7 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 18 mg. cholesterol; 8 mg. sodium.