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Sweet Corn Gelato and a simply delicious way to serve it.

Fields of Corn at the end of Brick Kiln Road
Country Garden Farm Stand, Scuttlehole Road, Bridgehampton NY
         The two most anticipated vegetables of the summer on the East End have arrived:  Our sweet corn and the ripest, reddest tomatoes of the year!  It’s hard to know which is the most welcome but I found a very different way to enjoy them both in a wonderful appetizer.  I realize I am asking you to think outside the box but once you’ve tasted this incredibly delicious combination, it will not seem all that strange to you.  I pared a rich, creamy and supremely corn-tasting gelato with the peak of the summer’s tomatoes and the result doubles the pleasure of these two seasonal favorites.
Otto Enoteca and Pizzeria, 1 Fifth Ave. NYC
         I first read the recipe for Sweet Corn Gelato in a recent Bon Appetit.  It was one of those ‘request’ recipes where someone falls in love with a restaurant offering and BA manages to coax the recipe out of the chef.  In this case, the gelato had been a dessert course at Otto (1 Fifth Avenue, entrance on 8th St. New York NY Tel: 212-995-9559), Mario Batali’s  downtown Pizza emporium.  This Greenwich Village location has long been a favorite of mine.  I go back—way back—to when it was One Fifth Avenue, a restaurant that had a decidedly Deco feel to it—down to the chairs which the owners had purchased, from the former Cunard liner “Caronia”.  I felt right at home in them as I too had bought them right off the ship when it was laid up in Chelsea.  It was the only ship in history to get a New York City parking ticket for non-payment of its port fees.  But I digress.
Otto is supposedly modeled after an Italian railroad station.  I don’t get the connection at all but it hardly matters because it’s a great place for a pizza, a glass or two of wine, a really nice cheese platter and some extraordinary gelato flavors, like Sweet Corn.
        Of course it was served as a dessert course.  And initially I thought that would be how I would use it.  But when it came time and I tasted this delicious ice cream, I realized it was a great starter.  It tastes like the essence of corn and the wonderful sweetness is a perfect counterpoint to the acidity of a great ripe tomato.
       Before getting to the recipe, I wanted to share a piece of information about corn that came as quite a surprise to me.  I knew that the best corn was fresh-picked and cooked on the same day.  What I didn’t know was that you should keep corn, unhusked, in the coldest part of your refrigerator and then husk it just before you cook it.  Corn starts turning sugar into starch the moment it is picked.  The sweetest corn is corn that has the least starch. We are incredibly fortunate in that Country Garden, the farm stand we shop at most often, harvests their corn every morning and, if there’s any unsold at the end of the day, it goes into the feed bin.  It is never sold on its second day.  How’s that for fresh? Now back to our gelato.
         Making Ice Cream is really quite simple. And if you have children in the house, it’s a great activity to share with them.  It does require a great deal of patience on their part as there are a number of hours of cooling and freezing.  But the results thrill them and guarantee a memory no store-bought ice cream can buy. The flavors you can achieve are astonishing.  A great book on the subject is David Lebovitz’  “The Perfect Scoop” (10 Speed Press, 2007).  But you hardly need to buy it to make Sweet Corn Gelato
However, you do need to have an ice cream maker. If you don’t have one, please get yourself a Cuisinart Ice Cream maker.  They are an integral part of our summer.  There’s a ‘bowl’ which you keep in the freezer and haul out at the last minute. Turn the machine on and then in a final act of patience, you have to put the finished stuff in the freezer for an hour until it hardens up a bit. Here’s the recipe:
 


3 thoughts on “Sweet Corn Gelato and a simply delicious way to serve it.”

  • Just took some gelato down to my friends at Country Garden. I believe I sold 5 ice cream makers! Tip: Williams Sonoma is phasing out Cuisinart to make way for Breville. This may be a great opportunity to get a Cuisinart at a very good price.

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