I am so very very happy! I participated to a contest called The Green Cream which was calling for proposals related to sustainability in ice cream making. There were four different categories and I submitted a recipe.
I decided to take part with a bean based recipe. I selected a local white bean (‘Fagiola di Venanzio‘) which is extremely local and has been declared endangered by the Tuscany region. But for all of you out there, you can use cannellini beans with very similar results.
So, without further ado, the recipe. It is composed of two parts: a bean jam (what the Japanese call anko, which is a bit long to prepare but can be stored for weeks in sterilised jars once made, and I recommend making a discrete amount, given the effort. And the the gelato itself, which uses about 20% of this bean jam in the base. The base is fairly neutral, and can be flavoured as desired. For example with vanilla, or saffron, or mix spices, or lavender. I made all these variations myself.
For the anko you really overcook (I use a pressure cooker) the beans and after cooking you blend them thoroughly with their cooking water. I prefer not to strain the skins but this is always an option if you desire a smoother texture. Then, you add as much sugar as the initial dry beans weight and keep cooking, always stirring (careful not to get burnt as is splatters a lot and it’s HOT!) until the mixture takes a jam consistency. If you ‘cut’ it with a wooden spoons it takes a little for the two parts to join again. Make sure you take the final weight of the jam, as you will use it to calcolate the nutrient percentages. But after repeating the preparation a few times, I calculated that on average the table is ca. 28-30% sugars, 0,8-1% fats, 7,4-7,8% proteins, 11-12% starches e 4,5-5% fibres. Pour hot into sterilised jars, close and sterilise again and you are all set.
For the ice cream, this is a standard recipe. It will turn hard in a normal freezer at -18°C so you can add more sugar as explained in the note at the bottom of the page. Weigh (quantities in grams) and blend really well together all the ingredients:
536 water (ca 54%)
200 anko (ca 20%)
70 honey (select the flavour depending on the character you want to give to the gelato) or agave syrup (ca 7%)
67 deodorised coconut oit (ca 6,5%)
65 sucrose (ca. 7%)
28 olive oil (ca 2,5%) (select extravergin if you want it to impart a strong character)
20 inulin (ca. 2%)
10 acacia fiber (ca. 1%)
3 stabiliser (I use a tara/guar/xanthan mix with a 90/5/5 ratio) (ca 0,3%)
Cool the mix, let it rest in the fridge for a few hours then churn.
For flavour, you can add some vanilla (0,5-1g of vanilla paste/Kg) or saffron (0,2-0,3g/Kg) or whatever you fancy. Enjoy!
Note – my ice creams are designed to be consumed immediately or kept in a somewhat warmer freezer (-10°C). If you wish to store them at the normal -18°C freezer temperature, they will become harder than usual (most ice creams will go hard in a deep freezer, it’s normal, nothing wrong with it!). To limit this inconvenience, you can bring the percentage of sugars (sucrose and dextrose) up to a total of approximately 22% keeping the same sucrose/dextrose ratio and decrease the liquid or the fibers to keep the same mixture total weight.