Homemade Gelato, A Look at How it’s Made


Whether homemade or industrial, gelato is definitely one of the hottest products of the summer, and many companies have made it their pride. Italian Traditions tells you how to make your own homemade ice cream, one of the main specialties of the Belpaese.

In the past, in order to produce the Italian ice cream,  a gelato making machinewas used, then it was cooled with ice and salt, and through manual whisking using a long stick with a spatula. Today, fortunately, some things has changed. The gelato preparation can be done in many ways; the main subdivision of these variations comes down to the hot or cold preparation. In Italy, generally the hot preparation is common for products based on milk, while the cold is used for the sorbet-style flavors based on water, fruit and sugar. The "Milk Directive" of the European Union, however, also allows you to use the cold preparation for for milk-based flavors. The basic steps for hot preparation are:

- Recipe / formula and dosage

- Mixing

- Pasteurization

- Emulsification (if any)

- Maturation

- Freezing

- Hardening (if any)

- Conservation / Exposure

The preparation of quality gelato starts from the study of the recipe (or formula), with the consequent dosing of raw materials and ingredients of high-quality compounds.


This is the phase that precedes the process of pasteurization. In the hot preparation, the first element that is placed in the pasteurizer is the liquid (typically milk), in which sugar that is already mixed with additives is slowly poured in. The base mix is done! In Italy the addition of the other ingredients (the ones that make it characteristic) occurs in most cases almost at the end of the freezing part. A gelato maker who want to ensure good quality to their product prepares at least a white base, yellow base, a chocolate and a syrup for fruit. However, with a combined machine you can make the individual flavors separately.


Simultaneously  as the mixing goes on, the pasteurization initiates, a heat treatment which gives biological stability to the food, eliminating much of the pathogenic flora bacterial, due to alteration of the product. The process consists in heating the mixture up to 82-85 ° C for 3 minutes, under continuous stirring, and the subsequent cooling at 4 ° C.


Once the mixture is pasteurized, it must be cooled in the shortest amount of time possible and then left to rest for 4 to 8 hours in the refrigerator at a temperature of 4 ° C.


It is the phase that transforms the mixture into ice cream, by passing from the liquid state to the solid paste, as part of the water is frozen. It is at this stage, also, that, through the stirring, the mixture incorporates air reaching the typical consistency of the pasty product.


As the mix comes out of the whisker, the temperature of the ice cream is around -8 ° / -10 ° C. In this phase, the product can be exposed on display. If necessary, before exposure, it can be placed in a blast that brings the product to -20 ° C to reduce the amount of water that is not frozen, which would make the gelato lose creaminess and volume.


The homemade igelato is kept in the ice box at temperatures of at least -18 ° C. It is necessary to constantly maintain the cold temperature to ensure the right structure and creaminess of the gelato and assure a safe product to the consumer. On the display at the shop,  display, the gelato is exposed to serving temperature which is around to -14 / -15 ° C.