Material Handling: Creative Ideas for Summer Gelato

Category: Frozen

Welcome to the first in a series of columns that will cover dessert industry trends, from street food to fine dining. Here we’ll share sweets from the artisan marketplace, discuss tricks and trends and include a few recipes, photos and techniques along the way.


This month the warmer weather has us looking to gelato. We’re excited by playful presentations and flavors that elevate the appreciation for the art of the hand-crafted frozen dessert.

Fudgesicle Swirl
Fudgesicle Swirl

Our first suggestion for this summer is plated Gelato Pops for the restaurant. We created this swirled gelato pop and presented it like a plated dessert. Diners are reminded of summer ice cream and frozen novelties like Fudgesicles, Push-up pops and Good Humor Bars – all childhood treats are fair game for our guests and customers.

Prius Pops
Prius® Pops
JMPurePastry produced these ‘Prius Pops’ for Toyota® Prius® Family Playground to give away at rock music festivals across the country. A variety of natural flavors included Blackberry Basil, Pineapple Coconut, Mango Passion and Red Fruits. Custom Molds by Chicago School of Mold Making. Photo by JMPurePastry.

One of our coolest summer projects has been producing ‘Prius Pops’. Master mold maker Michael Joy of the Chicago School of Mold Making was commissioned to create a popsicle mold shaped like the popular hybrid vehicle. These pops were shipped by the thousands to outdoor music festivals across the country. Music fans at festivals like Bumbershoot in Seattle, Music Midtown in Atlanta and New Orleans’s Voodoo Music Festival won the frozen treats at games in the Prius Family Playground tent. Blackberry Basil, Pineapple Coconut, Red fruit and Mango Passion fruit were among the flavors made with highest quality fruit purees. We’ve included these popsicle ratios here for you to try. Note the addition of some gelatin and xanthan gum for a slower melt and chewy texture.

Chocolate Tart with Dipped White Chocolate Gelato
Chocolate Tart with Dipped White Chocolate Gelato

One of our preferences for frozen plated dessert elements has become molded and dipped gelato. To accompany our plated Chocolate Pot De Crème Tart, we cast white chocolate gelato and dipped the frozen rounds in a mixture of cocoa butter and white chocolate.

Melon Lychee Verbena
Melon Lychee Verbena

Frozen fruit desserts are the perfect fit for upscale brasserie or spa menus. Delicious fruits cut or scooped into shapes can be served with gelato (or in this case sorbetto) in the restaurant or even poolside. We took cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon and piled them high on top of a half-round of lychee sorbetto. Served with a sidecar of lemon verbena-melon sauce, this dessert is refreshing and gluten free.

In our artisan spotlight this month is Zarlengo’s Italian Ice and Gelato in Chicago Heights, Illinois. Creative flavors such as Cannoli, Sweet Basil and Aztec chocolate are just three among nearly 50 flavors produced in any given week. During the season they are producing frozen treats around the clock. In fact, they’ve had lines around the block for most of their 28 year stretch. Look for big things from the heir to the gelato throne, 30 year old Tommy Zarlengo, a graduate of the French Pastry School.

Send us photos of your inspirations. Email Jimmy and Julie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Join us next issue as we take a look at canning and preserving fresh fruits of the season to enhance year-round dessert menus.


JMPurePastry is a Chicago-based pastry solutions group specializing in high quality, well designed products for the restaurant, baking and hospitality industry. The group is also responsible for the Emmy- Award winning Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition video series. For more information, visit


Find the "Prius Pop" and Dipped White Chocolate Gelato recipes in the Recipe section or click the links below.