Fior di Latte Gelato

by Jul 17, 2023

Campione got me going on this fior di latte/fleur de lait topic. They serve it two ways for dessert, a scoop with biscotti crumbles or floating in a shot of espresso affogato-style. I recommend getting both desserts and spoons for everyone you’re dining with, especially those who say they don’t want dessert.

The flavor of this Sicilian-style gelato depends on the quality of milk and cream you use, and milks taste different, so keep trying until you find your favorite. As I was experimenting, I tried the recipe from Serious Eats, but found it too sweet for my tastes, then turned to one of my favorite pastry chefs, David Lebovitz. What do you know, he put a Fleur de Lait recipe in his 2007 book, The Perfect Scoop. And this gelato is perfect.

Related recipes: Fresh Spearmint Ice Cream, Bittersweet Chocolate Ice Cream, Saffron Rosewater Ice Cream, Overnight Meringues, Chardonnay Sorbet, and Bourbon Frozen Custard

Fior di Latte Gelato (Fleur de Lait), Cocoa Gelato variation

makes 1½ pints; adapted from David Lebovitz's Fleur de Lait in The Perfect Scoop and Serious Eats' Fior de Latte


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot
  • 1 pinch Kosher salt

Cocoa Gelato Variation: add 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder when you add the cornstarch


  1. Measure milk and cream into a 4-cup glass measure. Pour half into saucepan and add the sugar, cornstarch, and pinch of salt. Whisk to combine and set pan over moderate heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to bubble and thicken. Lower heat to maintain a gentle rather than vigorous bubbling, continue whisking a couple minutes to cook the starch, preventing a raw flavor. The whole process will take about 5 minutes.

  2. Add reserved milk and cream to the cooked mixture. Whisk to combine and pour back into the 4-cup measure. Cool slightly and press a piece of plastic wrap to the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate overnight then freeze in ice cream maker.

Recipe Notes / Tips

  • To make same day vs. overnight chill: use an ice bath to cool down the gelato base and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours before churning.
  • Note for Cuisinart freezer bowl: Bowl must be frozen solid, no sloshy sounds when you shake it. Mine needs at least 24 hours to get frozen solid, so in peak ice cream making season, I store it in the freezer so it is always ready to go. Set up the mixing blade, turn on the machine, stir the gelato base, and pour into the machine. Set timer for 18–20 minutes then transfer to a freezer container to firm up. My favorite is the oblong glide-a-scoop by Tovolo.
  • For stracciatella, melt 2 ounces of bittersweet chocolate then stir in a tablespoon of coconut oil. Drizzle into the gelato during the last two minutes of churning.  
  • For cocoa gelato, add 2 tablespoons cocoa powder with the cornstarch and proceed with the recipe.

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