Red Beauty Plum and Muscat Gelato recipe


We’ve been dying to grow a plum tree. For quite some time now, whenever we stroll our garden, we look to see where there’s enough space to squeeze in a plum tree. Maybe “squeezing in” might not be the best gardening technique, but when you’re desperate, anxious and impatient gardeners like we are, anything will work. Until we figure out how to rearrange the garden (can this be possible?) to make room for our glorious plum tree, we’ll have to continue drooling over all the plums that we find at the farmers market and road side fruit stands. So what type of plum would we grow? A Santa Rosa plum tree, of course! These incredibly sweet and juicy plums are our favorite and eating a Santa Rosa means protecting yourself with towel or napkin because the fleshy, juice laden fruit is bound to explode on your favorite shirt!


But our minds might just have changed since visiting a plum orchard in Fresno during our little road trip last week. This amazing orchard of stone fruits featured a new variety of plums called Red Beauty plums. The farmer informed us that this variety is now replacing our beloved Santa Rosa plums because Red Beautys (or Red Beautes) are heartier for shipping. Red Beautys are just as juicy and sweet as Santa Rosa’s, but hold up to shipping better because of their firmer flesh. Could there be a replacement for our Santa Rosa’s? Naw….nope….nada…..uh, uh…no way…could anything replace the sweet explosion of the Santa Rosa’s. Well, after a taste test of the Red Beautys, we’re hooked, but maybe not enough to be convinced that the Red Beautys are better, but they are still damn good! The flesh of Red Beautys are firmer, less perishable, but just as sweet and “almost” as juicy (we’re still SR plum fans!)


Armed with two bag fulls of delicious Red Beauty plums from our trip, the timing is perfect for some summer gelato and for Mike’s I scream, You scream event. This summer’s is inspiring us to make gelato for this event. As most of you know, gelato is the Italian cousin to ice cream. Smoother and more rich, it is also, ironically, less fattening. Made with whole milk instead of cream or half and half, but with just a bit more egg, it develops it’s incredible texture by incorporating less air into the custard. Another bikini factor (or speedo? Sorry, hell no!) is that you are usually satisfied with much smaller portions due to the richness.


Plum and what? That was the question we posed to ourselves. What could we add to the plums to make the gelato special, but not interfere with or overwhelm the flavor of the plums? After all, they are ingredient we wanted to highlight the most in the gelato. Upon searching the cabinets, we found a bottle of semi-dry Muscat wine and we knew we had a “Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!” (We watch too much Sportcenter!) Feeling experimental, we crafted two different batches. One by poaching the plums in the wine, the other by using only the raw ingredients blended into the custard. Both were tasty, the first taking on the distinct qualities of poached plums, the latter having the fresher and brighter flavors of the plums and muscat. Personally we liked the latter better, but if you are a big poached fruit fan, that version is quite tasty. We aren’t 100% happy with the texture yet on either. Coming off the ice cream maker, they are perfect, but after a night in the freezer and solidifying more, it’s a touch icy. It may be from the blending, and we are going to try again with a more gentle mixing process, or maybe from too much wine. As is, the recipe is 90% there and well worth the time to try it. We are going to have to pick up some more plums to finish our research.


There is a reason almost every gelataria also has an espresso maker. Nothing goes better together on a hot afternoon like a well-made espresso and your favorite gelato. The intense contrasts of the bitter and the sweet. Hot and cold. We are salivating just thinking about it. BTW, if you are ever in the Los Angeles area, stop by Pazzo Gelato in Silverlake. Their gelato is incredible and the espressos are damn good, too!

Plum and Muscat Gelato Recipe

This recipe was based off of a Grape Gelato w/ Saba recipe in Gelato! by Pamela Sheldon Johns. We did two variations, one poaching the plums in the wine, the other leaving the wine and plums uncooked. We liked the latter version better, so that is the recipe here, but if you want to try the poached version, cook the ingredients in Step 1 for 20-25 minutes or until the plums are tender and the mixture has thickened a bit. Set it aside to cool, blend in a blender or food processor, then combine it with the custard as directed in the following recipe. We aren’t 100% happy with the texture after it freezes overnight in the freezer, but it is perfect when it first comes out of the ice cream maker. As we perfect the recipe, we will update it for you. In the meantime, this recipe is still very good and worth the time to make.

Plum and Muscat Gelato Recipe

Total Time: 3 hours


  • 2 lbs Plums (@ 8 plums)
  • 1 c Semi-dry Muscat Wine
  • 3/4 c Sugar
  • 3 c Whole Milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 Egg Yolks


  1. Cut plums into pieces, then put in a blender or food processor. Add muscat and 1/4 c of the sugar. Blend together well, then place in fridge until needed.
  2. In a saucepan, combine milk and salt. Over medium heat, cook until bubbles begin to form around the edges.
  3. In a blender or food processor, beat the remaining 1/2 c of sugar and the egg yolks until the mixture has thickened. With the machine running on it’s slowest speed, gradually add the hot milk. Return the mixture to the saucepan and continue to cook while stirring constantly over medium heat for 6-8 minutes, or until custard coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and place in an ice bath and stir for at least 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
  4. Combine the chilled custard and the plum mixture in a blender or food processor (we are going to try mixing by hand next time. It may come out better), then transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturers directions.
Recipe Source:

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

Serve with a nice espresso or a glass of the muscat.


Making this gelato was a delicious experience and we’re submitting our gelato to Mikefor his You Scream, I Scream, We all Scream for Frozen Desserts event. Tis the season to make a cool desserts for the sweltering summer heat! It’s a great event and here’s Mike’s call out to everyone: “So I’m calling on you, fellow food bloggers, to put your creativity towards cooling off with something sweet this summer. Create some delicious, summery frozen desserts–whether they be ice creams, gelatos, sorbets, granitas, frozen mousses, frozen yogurts, kulfis, etc–and send them in!”.

More dessert dishes that you might enjoy:

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Y

    Love the colour of that gelato. The plums themselves look amazing also!

  2. growitgreen

    I love gelato, but it is difficult to find a shop that makes it in my small town in S.C. so, I have to make it myself when I get a craving. I appreciate all of the recipes I can get my hands on. Check out this “cool” article about gelato at

  3. Kaykat


    Ooo … Jeremy’s idea totally helps. I usually just end up taking the gelato/icecream out of the fridge and beating it up several times before freezing completely – that usually keeps it happy for atleast a week.

    This is such a fabulous idea, WORC! I love the muscat touch.

  4. White on Rice Couple

    Jeremy, thanks for the advice on the xanthum gum. That really helps.

    To everyone: thank you so much for your visit and your kind words, advice and humor! You guys really inspire us!

  5. Suganya

    Now that you mention, I have never had gelato and expresso together. Gelatos and sorbets are always preferred over ice cream. Mango sorbet is the best.

  6. Jeremy

    A quick comment about the iciness you experienced. One reason that commercial ice creams avoid that problem is the emulsifiers they add. There is one emulsifier that is easy for home cooks to get their hands on because it is used in a lot of gluten-free cooking – xanthan gum.

    I have found that some frozen desserts with fruit will get icy no matter what method you use after a day or two. Adding just a 1/4 of a tsp per quart will extend your crystal-free time by a week or two (and how often does homemade ice cream last that long anyway).

    I think this recipe may have to hit my “to try” list and good luck with tweaking your recipe.

  7. Dee

    How wonderful it this? Booze and ice cream… swoon :)

  8. Cakelaw

    This looks delicious!!! the colour is wonderful and delicate, and as a fan of plums, I am sure that I would enjoy this.

  9. brilynn

    That looks fabulous, I love frozen treats! Any excuse to use the ice cream machine is a good one!

  10. zenchef

    I definitely ‘scream’ for some of this. What a flavor combination!

  11. Cindy

    How wonderful is that, adding Muscat in gelato,
    Now I wish that there’s an ice cream maker in my kitchen..

  12. bee and jai

    that must’ve been scrumptious. i love gelatos and sorbettos – more than icecream.

  13. Manggy

    How’s that for synchronicity?! I just made a poached plum dessert yesterday!! (It’s yet to be posted, though.) Awesome. That’s such a pretty color, and I can just imagine plums would be great in ice cream– sweet-tart and delicious!

  14. giz

    It’s been kind of hot and humid and man, I could go for some of that right now. I know this “let’s just squeeze in another one” gardening philosophy. That was me 5 years ago and now I’m overrun with pears and apples. Who knew pares were more prolific than rabbits? And let’s not forget about the raspberry canes that spread literally everywhere. It’s so hard to resist, isn’t it?

  15. cookinpanda

    So incredibly tasty sounding. And gorgeous photos too, of course. Red plums are definitely a favorite of mine. This is such a great way to use them.

  16. kate

    oh that looks just wonderful ! would love to try the boozy version and then the custard one 😀

  17. Rita

    lucky me, i practically have a plum tree downstairs, but how come i need to give it some money in exchange for some beautiful plums? (rita, tat’s a markettttt) LOLLL

  18. Tartelette

    That looks fantastic! And I hear you on the plum tree, add an apricot tree, a cherry tree, a strawberry patch, a currant bush….Oops sorry…! No one wants to hear that rambling! The ice cream is incredibly refreshing to the eye!

  19. maybelles mom (feeding maybelle)

    Does lucky commenter number 25 get a bite? It looks delish. And Pazzo gelato is amazing, agreed.

  20. Maryann

    I love the color :)

  21. Antonio Tahhan

    btw, I just noticed that smiley face at the bottom of your blog, hahaha! I love it!

  22. Antonio Tahhan

    OMG! I recently got an ice cream maker and made my first ice cream last night!! I love the idea of blending wine with ice cream. And the plums look so bright and juicy!! You guys should definitely find room for that tree; that would be awesome!!

  23. MyKitchenInHalfCups

    Guess things have changed here and I’ll need to re-link your RSS.
    Plums are just good and your scream seems lovely!!

  24. sharon

    Maybe I will have to come by your part of town….
    I love plums and have never had the pleasure of plum gelato. Yum!

  25. grace

    i don’t think plums get used enough. all i can think of are dimply plum cakes and boring ol’ crisps. this gelato sounds fantastic–nicely done! :)

  26. Marvin

    I love SR plums as well, and they look like they’d be great in any ice cream. I am no means an ice cream expert, but I think alcohol in ice cream actually helps prevent ice crystals rather than forming them, so I don’t think your muscat is the cause of the problem. It may actually be the juice from the plums that are freezing up on you. That’s just a guess though. Was the poached version less icy than the raw? If so, then maybe that’s because most of the juice was cooked away? Again, that’s another guess.

  27. Chez US

    YUM! Looks great! We made a plum and red wine sorbet last summer, which was so good. Have to love how the Plum!

  28. Mike

    This looks spectacular and this is definitely my kind of experiment–I’m not sure which variant I would prefer. The plums look excellent and your presentation of the gelato is also really something. Thanks for a great entry!

  29. richa

    slurrrrrp! look at that luscious fruit …..gelato has such a pretty color :) everytime i visit u i crave even more for those summer fruits 😉

  30. Sharona May

    Sounds delightful. Plums are great! I just made a plum galette that was so easy but so awesome a few weeks ago.

    Sharona May

  31. Ivy

    Mmmmm, can I have a bowl as well please, it looks delicious.

  32. canarygirl

    Gawwwd you guys! Will you pleeeeeeeeeeeeease adopt me? I will do the dishes, the weeding of the garden, anything! lol The gelato looks incredible.

  33. matt wright

    Bloody hell this looks seriously good. SERIOUSLY!!

  34. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy

    What an inspired idea for gelato! It sounds and looks just wonderful! I hope you get your plum tree soon, so you can make this all the time. :)

  35. Precious Pea

    2 scoops please!

  36. Kitt

    Y’all need a venture capitalist to fund your R&D full time! (That’s Research & Dining.)

    Delicious-looking experiment there. Love plums. Love muscat.

  37. Sweet Bird

    My god, this looks delicious! I think it’s almost worth driving the couple hours to Fresno for…but I’ll just get some at the farmer’s market tomorrow instead. You two are going to put my taste buds into serious overdrive.

  38. Lisa

    We had Ben & Jerrys for supper tonight! Bad I know! We were on our way home from the beach, we were hungry, the kids were cranky….B&J to the rescue! It was pure heaven, then I come home, belly full and see this gelato! Oh my…as full as I am…I think I could make room for some of that. LOL!

  39. Jen Yu

    That sounds and looks delightful. I am a total whore for custard-based ice creams. Cynthia better make some room for me, because I am going to stake out some space in your backyard too (with Miss Kaweah, of course). You guys have the absolute best garden, I can’t even imagine that it would be wanting for *anything* :) xxoo

  40. Peter

    Moscato wine is one of my faves….a wonderful dessert wine or like here, great as part of a dessert!

  41. Cynthia

    Sooooo, I can I come camp out and live on your lawn? 😀

  42. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    I’d love to have a plum tree in my garden — but I’m sure the deer would get the plums before I did. They’re already “pruning” my pear tree, eating all the fruit they can reach, and leaving me with pears only at the very top of the tree. Clever, those deer.

  43. Karen

    Yum, gelato. I could sit down to a bowl right now. Looks so nice and refreshing on this hot day!

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