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July 18, 2022

Sunny Sweet Treats

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With the summer in full force in London, what better way to cool down than with Pizzeria Mozza’s classic Lemon Gelato Pie. Learn how to perfect the dessert yourself with Pizzeria Mozza's Co-Founder Nancy Silverton's recipe.

Gelato pie

Gelato pies are a seasonal signature at Pizzeria Mozza, from pumpkin or strawberry to caramel or coconut, however it’s the lemon that’s the standout. Made with a Graham Cracker crust, candied citrus peel and Champagne vinegar sauce elevates a simple dessert to a real showstopper.

Ingredients

For the crust and filling:

  • Graham crackers
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Lemon gelato

For the candied lemon zest

  • 2 lemons
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup

For the Champagne vinegar sauce

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 whole vanilla bean
  • 1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • Whipped cream

The recipe:

To make the crust, break up the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor with a metal blade. Process the crackers to fine crumbs then turn them into a large bowl. Measure 1 cup of the crumbs. Add the butter, sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine. Press the crumbs into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch glass or foil pie plate to form an even crust. Place the crust on a baking sheet and bake until it is firm, about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set it aside to cool to room temperature. Place the crust in the freezer until you are ready to fill it, or for up to a week.

Spoon the gelato into the prepared pie shell and use an offset spatula or rubber spatula to create a wavy surface. Place the pie in the freezer for several hours or overnight, to freeze completely.

To make the candied lemon zest, use a vegetable peeler to peel long, irregular strips from the lemon, reserving the lemons for another use. Put the strips in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Drain the strips in a fine-mesh strainer. Return them to the saucepan, cover again with water, and repeat, bringing to a boil and straining the strips twice more for a total of three times.

Combine the sugar corn syrup, and 2 cups water in a small, heavy bottomed saucepan and bring to boil over a high heat. Dip a pastry brush in water and brush down the sides of the pot to remove the sugar crystals. Add the zest strips, reduce the heat, and simmer, brushing the sides occasionally, until the zest is tender, translucent, and candied, about 20 minutes. Turn off the head and set the saucepan aside to cool to room temp. Transfer the strips to an airtight container and store them at room temperature for up to several weeks.

To make the champagne vinegar sauce, combine the sugar and ½ cup of water in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan over a high heat and bring to a boil without stirring, dip a pastry brush in water and brush down the sides of the pan to remove the sugar crystals. Use a small sharp knife to split the vanilla bean lengthwise. Use the back of the knife to scrape out the pulp and seeds and add the scrapings and the bean to the saucepan with the sugar. Continue to cook the sugar without stirring, brushing down the sides of the pan occasionally and swilling the pan so the sugar cooks evenly, until the sugar began to brown, about 5 minutes. Gently store the sugar and cook it, stirring, until the caramel is translucent and amber coloured. Turn off the heat and stir the vinegar. The mixture will spatter, and it may seize and harden. Return the saucepan to medium-high heat and boil the sugar and vinegar until the sauce melts if it has seized, and then thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the butter a few pieces at a time, whisking gently, until all the butter is incorporated.

Fill a large bowl with ice water and set a smaller bowl inside. Set a fine mesh strainer in the smaller bowl. Pour the sauce through the strainer into the bowl set in the ice. Remove and discard the vanilla bean and whisk the sauce occasionally to prevent the butter from separating, until the sauce cools and is syrupy. Use the sauce or transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to several weeks. Reheat the sauce over low heat and cool it until it Is syrupy before serving.

To serve the pie, use a large knife dipped in hot water to cut into 6 or 8 equal wedges. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the champagne vinegar sauce on the bottom of each plate and use the back of the spoon to spread it into a circle about 5 inches diameter. Place a pie wedge in the centre of each plate and spoon another tablespoon of the sauce on top of each slice. Spoon 2 heaping tablespoons of whipped cream on top of the sauce and top each slice with three pieces of candied lemon peel.

Recipe taken from ‘The Mozza Cookbook: Recipes from Los Angeles's Favorite Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria' by Nancy Silverton published by Matt Molina and Carolynn Carreno . Available to purchase from la.pizzeriamozza.com/products. 

Don't miss Pizzeria Mozza London's celebration of Lemons this summer with a selection of Limoncello, pizzas and of course, Lemon Gelato Pie. Discover more here.

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