Got 5 minutes? Then you can have homemade Grapefruit Gelato.

A friend of mine is moving to Florida next month, and will be lucky enough to have grapefruit trees right in her backyard. So I post this in her honor – what’s more frugal than picking fruit right off your own tree and whipping up a luscious dessert? (More on gardening to come in future posts.)

Grapefruit Gelato

I know it may sound a little weird, but trust us. We swear it will surprise you. Something about the way that the acid in the citrus combines with the fat in the cream (and yes, you must use heavy cream; we tried it with half & half and it just didn’t work texture-wise, though the flavor was still a total delight) creates a perfect dense, creamy texture that is so akin to ‘real’ gelato. It’s a revelation!


2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice (Recommended: 1 Texas Rio Star. Ruby red would probably be fine too.)
zest of said grapefruit, finely grated
1/2 tsp salt

Whisk it all together, pour it into a nice Tupperware container, and freeze for at least 8 hours, ideally overnight.  That’s IT. Yes, really!

It’s amazing how well the texture comes out without churning! So creamy & subtly tangy.

(Donna’s Note: This recipe is a result of kitchen synergy between Anne and I. The original recipe is from my friend Patty Ransom, who aksed me if I had ever heard of  “Five Minute Lemon Ice Cream.” I was thrilled and amazed after tasting it, and made it frequently. Then Anne and I were cooking together in January and decided the grapefruit flavor would be a great twist – It was even more amazing than lemon. Haven’t tried lime yet . . . Hmmmm . . . So, Patty – if you’re reading this – Thank You!)


  1. Jeanine says

    I had gelato for the first time when my husband and I went to Austin, TX in this gourmet food store and I absolutely loved the pink grapefruit gelato. So much so that I’m here in winter Buffalo, on my couch craving it. I will surely try this recipe and let you know how I do.

  2. says

    Thanks for that comment from the file marked “Duh”. Have any other blatantly obvious remarks? Of course it’s not a real gelato. We were looking for a term that better reflected the smooth texture of this recipe, and the texture is much more like a gelato than an ice cream. Therefore, we took the liberty with the title (plus, hey, alliteration). It’s also much more dense than ice cream, much like – hey! – a gelato, because air is not beaten into the mixture. So for that very reason, if you want to be a stickler about it, it wouldn’t technically be an ice cream either. I suppose “Grapefruit Frozen Cream-Based Dessert Substance” would be most correct, but, well, not all that fun or even appetizing.

    Technically, putting gelato in quotation marks would have been the culinarily correct thing to do. I may go ahead and change that, in order to better represent our intentions, even though we’ve never aimed for exact purity. So I thank you for that.

    (Incidentally, I did you the favor of correcting your screen name here, as it was only embarrassing for you – kind of along the same lines as when someone is trying to insult another’s intellect with a snotty post that includes the words “inteligance” or “genuis”.)

  3. says

    So very glad you liked it! I thought you’d appreciate the uniquely tangy flavor of it. Blueberries would be a great match – I’ll have to try that.

  4. says

    This is incredible. I just made it last night, because I promised Anne I would, and it came together in under five minutes. I put it in the freezer and completely forgot about it until just now. Perfect gelato consistency! This is amazing! It’s going nicely right now with some fresh blueberries. Thanks for sharing – what interesting alchemy.

    • says

      A friend of mine got me started on this way of making gelato – she made it with lemon – which would be great with blueberries, too. You can use any citrus – I have tried lemon, lime and grapefruit. All have been delish!

  5. says

    Thanks for posting the history, Donna! Also to note: we decided that the denser texture was more like gelato than typical ice cream, hence the name change.


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