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Bird's eye view of a hand holding a small wooden spoon, scooping out a creamy gelato from the top of a mason jar.

Mason Jar Gelato with Ricotta, Coffee & Honey

Recipe adapted from La Vita È Dolce cookbook by Letitia Clark.


Mason jar ice cream is all the rage right now, so we thought: why not try it with gelato?

The process for making mason jar ice cream goes something like this: add heavy cream, salt, and sugar to a mason jar, put on the lid, and shake vigorously for a few minutes. Add in your favorite mix-ins (berries, chocolate chips, nuts, etc.), then freeze. Wait a few hours and bada bing, bada boom: you’ve got ice cream. It’s an incredibly simple recipe that’s easy for anyone to make at home–even your toddler can do it!

We wanted to know if this technique was possible to do with gelato. And well, as you may have guessed, the answer is yes. The main difference between ice cream and gelato is that gelato uses milk, instead of heavy cream. Because of this, when following the mason jar method, the mixture tends to get a little icier as it freezes. We recommend giving it a stir every couple of hours to help smooth out the ice crystals.

For our mason jar gelato, we’ve adapted Letitia Clark’s Ricotta, Honey & Coffee Gelato recipe from her Italian dessert cookbook, La Vita È Dolce. We should note that the original recipe–which calls for simmering the milk and sugar together first, then freezing the mixture in an ice cream maker–results in a smoother, creamier texture. But since we wanted to stick to the original mason jar method and keep things as simple as possible, we skipped those steps, sacrificing some of the silky smooth mouthfeel for accessibility and ease.

If you want a smoother gelato, simmer the milk and sugar first, then add in the cornstarch, ricotta, and salt, and blitz in a blender. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, then pour into your mason far and freeze.

A hand is holding a small ice cream scooper, scooping out a creamy gelato from a mason jar. The surface is marble while the background is a terracotta orange.

Mason Jar Gelato with Ricotta, Coffee & Honey

Makes 2 cups

Prep time: 10 Minutes, plus 8 hours freezing
Cook time: 0 Minute

Special Equipment

1 (16-ounce) mason jar (or any other glass jar you have on hand)

Ingredients

1½ cups whole milk
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
½ cup whole milk ricotta
pinch of salt
½ tablespoon coffee grounds, finely ground
good flavorful honey, to serve

Method

1. Pour the milk, sugar, cornstarch, ricotta, and salt into the mason jar. Close the lid tightly and shake vigorously for about 5 minutes, or until the sugar and cornstarch have dissolved and the ricotta is smooth and well-incorporated. Stir in the coffee grounds and mix well.

2. Place the jar in the freezer for at least 8 hours, stirring every 2-4 hours. Remove from the freezer about 20-30 minutes before serving to soften.

3. Spoon the gelato into bowls and drizzle with honey.

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