Gelato is a denser, creamier Italian version of ice cream. In this recipe, Hachiya persimmon purée lends a pretty orange color and a cardamom-laced syrup adds a hint of spice.
Serve this frozen concoction alongside apple, pecan or mincemeat pie for a delightful change of pace at the holidays.
Place the sugar, water, corn syrup, ground cardamom and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil until the syrup reduces to 3/4 cup, 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the crushed cardamom pods (along with any seeds). Let the syrup cool completely at room temperature, then strain; discard the seeds and pods.
Pour the syrup into a large, clean bowl and add the persimmon purée, lemon juice, cream and half & half. Whisk to blend, then cover and refrigerate the mixture until it is thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.
Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Transfer the gelato to an airtight container and press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface. Cover tightly and freeze for several hours or until hardened.