Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Low Carb Zabaglione Gelato

This is another low carb conversion from The Perfect Scoop book by David Lebovitz. This ice cream is based on an Italian custard that uses Marsala wine and sugar for flavoring.
True zabaglione—a foamy custard of egg yolks, wine, and sugar—is often made to order in Italian restaurants. Moments after the waiter takes your order, you’ll hear the frenetic “clang-clack-clang” of the whisk hitting the copper bowl in the kitchen. Once it’s reached a billowy peak, it’s heaped into a glass quickly but not necessarily neatly (speed trumps presentation with zabaglione) and served straight up and warm. In season, you’ll often find sliced strawberries buried underneath all that delicious froth. Zabaglione Gelato captures the taste of a true zabaglione in a cool scoop of ice cream without the last-minute flurry of activity, and it’s just as good served with lots of juicy strawberries.
I was tempted to add some fruit as a mix-in, but decided to leave it as a topping instead. Take blueberries and raspberries with your choice of sweetener and puree it all together. Mix in some sliced strawberries and whole blueberries and raspberries.

I never had regular zabaglione, but from the looks of it, it’s got to have a strong custard flavor. I’m a little surprised this ice cream recipe only uses six of them. I followed the recipe pretty closely on my first attempt and doubled the stabilizer to counteract the freezing point depression from the wine. It didn’t have a strong enough custard flavor in my opinion. I used ten egg yolks on the second batch and the normal amount of stabilizer. The flavor was a lot better. Another possible way to boost the custard flavor is to add a tablespoon of LorAnn Oils Flavor Fountain Flavorings, French Vanilla, but that would probably get you dirty looks from the gelato hipsters.*

I didn’t use the gelato paddle on my ICE-100. I don’t think the ice cream dasher puts that much air in the ice cream and I wanted a full quart.

I don’t know much about wine, but I do know that there’s a lot of shenanigans when it comes to cooking wines. I remember the old rule to never buy cooking sherry; regular (drinking) sherry is what you should use. Apparently there are a lot of bad Marsala wines, too. Make sure you get Marsala wine imported from Italy.

Also, make sure it’s dry Marsala wine. We want as little sugar as possible.

* See the end of this post for an update.


1 cup (242 g) unsweetened almond milk or equivalent
1½ tablespoons Truvia
4 tablespoons LC Foods Milk Powder (optional)
zest from ½ - 1 lemon
10 large egg yolks
Big pinch of salt
21 drops EZ-Sweetz
1 tablespoon (18 g) vegetable glycerin
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum or ½ teaspoon Dixie Diner’s Thick It Up Low Carb Thickener
½ cup (118 g) dry Marsala wine
1½ cup (357 g) heavy cream


  1. Add the egg yolks to the 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup and let stand.

    Ten egg yolks.

  2. In a small pot, add unsweetened almond milk, Truvia, and milk powder. Zest the lemon directly into the warm milk. Heat on stove top at medium heat until it reaches approximately 170 °F while stirring periodically.

    Heavy cream, almond/coconut milk, salt, and Truvia heated.

  3. Slowly pour the warm mixture from the pot into the egg yolks, whisking constantly.

    Tempered egg yolk mixture.

    Scrape the warmed mixture back into the pot and return it to the stove top. Add the heavy cream to the 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup and put a strainer on top of it.
  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. The temperature should not exceed 175 °F. This may take a while to thicken sufficiently.

    Custard thickened.

    Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the heavy cream

    Strained custard.

    Whisk in the xanthan gum or Dixie Diner’s Thick It Up Low Carb Thickener while it’s still warm. Add and mix in the EZ-Sweetz, glycerin, and Marsala wine and stir until cool over an ice bath.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in a refrigerator until cooled completely.
  6. Follow your ice cream maker’s directions for making ice cream. Use a silicone spatula to remove the ice cream from the ice cream maker and freeze until solid.
Scoops of ice cream.

Scoops of ice cream.

UPDATE 2015-09-25: I decided to try my theory out and redo this using my Philadelphia style ice cream base and the French Vanilla flavoring. I think it came out even better than the original!

Follow the directions for the Low Carb 11.5% Fat Philadelphia-style Ice Cream Base but replace ½ cup of the almond milk with the dry Marsala wine at the start. Add the lemon zest into the pot right before heating. Use a fine mesh strainer when pouring the mixture back into the mixing cup after done heating to remove the zest. Add 1 tablespoon of the French Vanilla flavoring after mixing for five minutes.

Scoops of ice cream.

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