Hidden inside the Sunday morning wasteland of Naples’ industrial ferry port lies a neighborhood secret. Weave your well beyond the empty delivery containers and also you is perhaps stunned to discover a tiny pasticceria, brimming with shouty Neapolitans, anxious to own the closely laden bins of Sicilian pastries – recent off the boat from Palermo that morning – to convey to Sunday lunch.
I’d purchase a rigorously wrapped gold cardboard tray of cannoli and cassata, and wander up the hill in direction of Palazzo Reale to search out an espresso bar to sit down outdoors. Right here I’d sink my enamel by the varied delights of thick inexperienced marzipan, pan di spagna, wobbly sheep’s milk ricotta and golden cannolo shells, the genuine ones having the scrumptious crunch that solely one thing fried in lard can lay declare to.
This ice-cream jogs my memory of all of these good issues. The salinity and barely grainy texture of the ricotta ice-cream gives a cool background for the wealthy combination of bitter chocolate chips, pistachio nuts and luminous candied citrus peel.
Makes roughly 1 litre
buffalo or sheep’s milk ricotta 200g
tapioca starch 15g (or use cornflour)
entire milk 400ml
dry marsala wine 1 tbsp
delicate honey 1 tsp
orange blossom water 2 tsp
floor espresso beans a pinch
candied citrus peel 25g, chopped
darkish chocolate 25g, chopped
pistachio nuts 25g, calmly toasted and chopped
To organize the ice-cream: set the ricotta to empty in a sieve over a bowl. In the meantime, whisk the tapioca starch or cornflour and sugar collectively in a bowl.
Warmth the milk to simmering level, then pour it in a skinny stream over the tapioca, whisking always to forestall lumps forming. Return this combine to the pan, and convey it again to a simmer to cook dinner out the starch. Whisk always as it will possibly catch and burn simply at this level.
Take away from the warmth, then whisk or stick-blend the ricotta, marsala and honey into the milk earlier than inserting the pan right into a sink of iced water to chill. Velocity up the cooling course of by stirring the combination occasionally. As soon as the custard is at room temperature, stir within the orange blossom water, then cowl with clingfilm and chill within the fridge in a single day.
Combine the bottom espresso, chopped peel, chocolate and nuts collectively and place within the freezer in a lidded container (that is in order that they received’t soften the ice-cream as soon as they’re added to it).
To make the ice-cream: take away the custard from the fridge and mix it properly for a few minute to re-liquefy and make it simpler to pour into the ice-cream machine.
Pour the combination into an ice-cream machine and churn based on the machine’s directions, about 20-25 minutes, or till frozen and the feel of softly whipped cream.
Switch the ice-cream to a lidded container, sprinkling with the frozen “canditi” as you go till they’re used up. Prime with a chunk of waxed paper to restrict publicity to air, cowl and freeze till able to serve.
NOTE It is a milk-based ice with no eggs, to raised permit the fragile flavour of the ricotta to shine. The tapioca starch thickens and a few what emulsifies the ice-cream base. Tapioca seems to be gloopy however I just like the chewy impact it has on the bottom – in any other case cornflour works equally. This ice-cream will freeze exhausting due to the starch, so take away it a superb 10 minutes earlier than serving.
In the event you insist on making ice-cream and not using a machine, you’ll be able to freeze the combination in a giant bowl. After 45 minutes, take it out of the freezer and whisk vigorously. Do that twice, after which consecutively with a giant steel spoon or spatula each 30 minutes till uniformly frozen.
VARIATION To make ricotta and maraschino cherry ice-cream, make up a batch of the ricotta ice-cream however substitute the orange blossom water for a teaspoon of vanilla extract. As soon as churned, stir in maraschino cherries and slightly of their syrup earlier than exhausting freezing.
From La Grotta Ices by Kitty Travers (Classic, £19.99)