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Mixed Berry Gelato ...inspired by Letters to Juliet for Food 'n Flix

What if...

True love never fades.

Sophie is a fact checker for The New Yorker with a passion for writing.  Victor is a chef with a passion for food that is unrivaled.  On Sophie and Victor's pre-Honeymoon trip to Verona, their passions pull them in opposite directions. (Which makes me a person with a passion for both, they seem so obviously intertwined...but alas, this is not my story.)  For a while, Sophie trails along with Victor to beautiful vineyards and olive orchards and cheese caves.  But when he plans a truffle-digging hunt in the forest, Sophie decides to explore Verona on her own instead.  She stumbles upon the courtyard of Juliet where women are sitting and crying and writing letters which they then pin on the wall...letters to Juliet.  Fascinated, Sophie follows a basket of the day's gathered letters to the Secretaries of Juliet.  Sophie decides to join these ladies (the secretaries) in writing return letters while Victor continues his food exploration.  Apart.  Everything changes for Sophie when she discovers a 50 year old letter tucked behind a loose stone on the wall.  She discovers "a story worth telling" when she reads Claire's letter to Juliet.

Claire and her grandson Charlie travel to Verona and meet up with Sophie who joins them on Claire's quest to find "her Lorenzo".  Memories of sharing bread with tomatoes and olive oil and perhaps losing out on a true love that has haunted her for half a century fuel a quest around Tuscany.  A new love story develops between Sophie and Charlie (as Sophie and Victor grow farther and farther apart) they try to resist.  While there were many food inspirations for me in this film, such as homemade pasta and a perfect risotto and cheese...olive oil...bread...truffles...I chose to make gelato.  Inspired by the the scene in which Sophie and Charlie sit and eat gelato and find themselves getting along.
Mixed Berry Gelato
adapted from Scoop
yield: ~1 quart

¾ c. fresh blueberries
¾ c. fresh strawberries, hulled
½ c. super fine sugar
1½ c. whole milk
1 c. heavy cream
¼ c. light corn syrup
¼ tsp. kosher salt
3 Tbs. nonfat dry milk powder
2 Tbs. cornstarch
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Combine berries, sugar and ½ cup water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often.  Reduce heat and simmer berries for 3 minutes.  Pour into a blender jar and purée.  Transfer back to a saucepan.

Add milk, ½ cup of the cream, corn syrup, and salt to the pan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until mixture begins to steam (without letting it come to a boil).

While the mixture is heating, combine remaining cream, ilk powder, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a small bowl, and stir until smooth and powders are dissolved.

Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan and bring to a boil, over low heat, stirring constantly.  Whisk the mixture until smooth and simmer over very low heat for 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly.  If lumpy, strain through a sieve.
Transfer hot liquid to a bowl or storage container and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard.  This will prevent a skin from forming.  Refrigerate until completely chilled.

Freeze mixture in an ice cream machine.  Serve immediately for a luxurious, soft gelato, or else transfer themixture to an airtight storage container and freeze until hard.  You'll have to let the gelato sit at room temperature for around 15 minutes before scooping, if frozen hard.
"Life is the messy bits." ~Claire to her grandson Charlie 

Kim of Stirring the Pot is hosting Food 'n Flix: Letters to Juliet this month.  There's still time to join in before the month is over!
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