When I asked my Chief Culinary Consultant last week if he had any ideas for new ice cream flavors since I still had two more Fridays left for celebrating July’s National Ice Cream Month, he offered up quite a few great ones, but the one we both got excited about was spumoni. I haven’t had spumoni since I was much younger, and was excited to tackle this traditional Italian frozen dessert. Little did I know when I decided to make this that in addition to another baking project I would also be tackling a research project. There was much to learn about spumoni! I wanted to make it as authentic as possible, so I went about reading everything I could find both online and in the cookbooks I own. Spumoni, known in Italy as Spumone, is a molded Italian ice cream made with layers of different colors and flavors, and containing a variety of fruits and nuts. The most traditional flavors are chocolate, pistachio and cherry with various nuts and fruit. In mine I chose to use hazelnuts with the chocolate layer, left pistachio as-is, and after reading much about the cherry layer finally settled on maraschino cherries, pineapple and almonds.
Traditionally, spumoni is made in a mold that results in a bomb-like dessert with the cherry layer in the center, followed by pistachio, and then covered by chocolate. Since I didn’t have a mold and wasn’t even able to find one online, I decided to go the terrine route and layer the flavors in a loaf pan, and then serve it in slices. This worked really well and since my ice cream bowl needs to freeze for at least 15 hours between batches, it gave each layer plenty of time to freeze before adding another one on top. The recipes below yield more than the 3 cups called for, but extra ice cream is never really a bad thing. As you can see, the edges of the slices aren’t perfect because it’s wrapped in plastic wrap. You could always trim the edges for a more perfect presentation, but you’d be wasting ice cream. And since when is an imperfect looking spoonful of ice cream anything but perfect?
I have entered this ice cream in the Ice Cream Social Challenge being hosted by ScottySnacks, SavortheThyme and Tangled Noodle. If you’ve made ice cream this month head on over and take part in the social to celebrate National Ice Cream Month!
Don’t forget! If you’re dying to make homemade ice cream and cursing yourself for not having an ice cream maker, head straight to this tutorial on how to make homemade ice cream without an ice cream maker!
3 cups Chocolate Ice Cream
3 cups Pistachio Ice Cream
3 cups Spumoni Cherry Ice Cream
Chocolate Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
Pistachio Ice Cream
1 1/3 cups shelled pistachio nuts
¾ cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
Pinch of salt
6 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
¾ cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
Spumoni Cherry Ice Cream
1½ cups pitted ripe sweet cherries (from about 3/4 lb cherries)
¾ cup whole milk
1¾ cups heavy cream
½ cup sugar
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons Amaretto, cherry liqueur, or rum (optional)
¼ cup chopped maraschino cherries, patted completely dry
¼ cup pineapple chunks, coarsely chopped and patted completely dry
¼ cup coarsely chopped almonds
Line a large loaf pan or piece of tupperware with overlapping pieces of plastic wrap, leaving overhang on all edges.
Spread 3 cups of softened chocolate ice cream into the bottom of the loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for about 30 minutes or until slightly hardened. Repeat with pistachio and cherry ice cream. Freeze entire loaf for at least 30 minutes.
To serve, run a sharp knife under hot water, then wipe dry. Cut into slices.
1. To make the Chocolate Ice Cream: Warm 1 cup of the cream with the cocoa powder in a medium saucepan, whisking to thoroughly blend the cocoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer at a very low boil for 30 seconds, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth. Then stir in the remaining 1 cup cream. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, scraping the saucepan as thoroughly as possible, and set a mesh strainer on top of the bowl.
2. Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in the same saucepan. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
3. Stir the mixture constantly over the medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula (170°F on an instant-read thermometer). Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the chocolate mixture until smooth, then stir in the vanilla. Stir until cool over an ice bath.
4. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (If the cold mixture is too thick to pour into your machine, whisk it vigorously to thin it out.) Once churned, fold in the hazelnuts with a rubber spatula.
1. To make the Pistachio Ice Cream: Grind the 1 1/3 cups of pistachios in a food processor until finely ground, but not to a paste. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of the cream, and salt, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the ground nuts. Cover, remove from the heat, and let steep for at least 30 minutes.
3. Strain the warm nut mixture, pressing on the nuts to extract as much liquid as possible, and discard the solids. Return the milk and cream mixture to the saucepan. Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
4. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Add the vanilla extract and almond extract and stir until combined.
5. Refrigerate until cold. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. Once finished churning, fold in the ¾ cup pistachios with a rubber spatula.
**You'll notice this pistachio isn't bright green like you find in stores. I didn't use any food coloring, so this is all natural, but you can add a couple drops of green food coloring if you're looking for a deeper green shade.
1. To make the Spumoni Cherry Ice Cream: Put cherries, milk, one cup of the cream, sugar, and salt into a medium saucepan. Heat on medium heat until the mixture is steamy, then lower the heat to warm and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring with a rubber spatula and scraping the bottom of the pan. Cover and let steep for at least 30 minutes. Pour mixture into a blender or food processor, or use an immersion blender, and carefully purée. (Careful because you are dealing with a hot liquid. Make sure you hold the cap down on the top of the blender while puréeing.)
2. Strain mixture into a large bowl. Stir in the remaining 3/4 cup of heavy cream. Chill for several hours in the refrigerator until completely cold. Place the chopped maraschino cherries and pineapple chunks on a plate on a single layer and put in the freezer until ice cream is done churning.
3. Before putting the mixture into your ice cream maker, stir in the lemon juice and the Amaretto or other liqueur if you are using. Note that you can skip the alcohol if you want, but the addition of it will help the ice cream from getting too icy, and the amaretto can add a nice flavor boost to the ice cream. Churn the ice cream in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Once finished churning, stir in the cherries, pineapple and almonds with a rubber spatula.