Are you still crazy for celery? In an effort to use up an abundance of spring and summer produce from overflowing CSA boxes, Ann Kirk, pastry chef of Little Dom’s, shared her economical recipe for creamy sweet celery gelato with L.A. Weekly.
The popular Los Feliz hangout and deli are busy with takeout and function as a grocery, offering farmers market produce, meats, eggs and freshly baked focaccia. The beautiful vintage wooden bar that overlooks the Jon Hamm booth is lined with bottles of booze and boxes of pasta. The kitchen still buzzes and from a safe distance, Kirk transformed the bright green apium graveolens into a cool, creamy dessert and palate cleanser for us.
“Celery is everywhere and super important in savory dishes,” Kirk, whose disposition is about as sweet as her profession, tells L.A. Weekly. “But it’s also good in desserts. It’s sweet and packs a punch and makes a refreshing gelato sundae. I just love anything celery. It’s summer and we all want gelato.”
Kirk likes adding baby celery, which you can find at the farmers market and looks like Italian parsley, and says to pump up the flavor even more, refrigerate the base overnight. Serve on top of whipped cream and garnish with blackberries and chopped pistachios. And if you don’t have an ice cream maker don’t fret, Kirk’s gelato is also available for pickup and delivery.
Sweet Celery Gelato
Courtesy: Ann Kirk, Head Pastry Chef at Little Dom’s
- 5 cups milk, reserve 1 cup
- 1 2/3 cups cream
- 1 ¾ cups sugar
- 4 Tbsp nonfat powdered milk
- 4 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 bunch celery, pale middle stalks only with leaves
- 1 bunch baby celery (optional)*
* If you can’t find baby celery, it’s OK to leave it out. Throw in some extra celery leaves if you have them. I do recommend going the extra distance to find it, it really bumps up the flavor. We get it from the Hollywood Farmer’s Market.
- Rinse celery and baby celery, pat dry and chop. Set aside. The celery will weigh about 8 ounces depending on the size of your bunch.
- In a medium pot, whisk together 4 cups milk, cream, sugar and nonfat powdered milk.
- Measure cornstarch into a separate bowl and set aside.
- Add in chopped celery, celery leaves, and optional baby celery.
- Place over high heat and bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally. When base reaches a simmer, remove from heat and blend base with a blender or immersion blender. Cover and let base steep for at least an hour.
- After the base has steeped and released the celery flavor, bring mixture back to a simmer.
- Meanwhile, whisk reserved 1 cup milk into cornstarch.
- When mixture has reached a simmer, lower heat to medium and whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Keep whisking for a few minutes until base thickens a little.
- Strain mixture into a heatproof container and cover. Discard strained celery. Cool quickly by placing container in an ice bath and transfer to refrigerator.
- When mixture has cooled completely, spin in an ice cream maker. Freeze until ready to use.