Gelato lovers have three new reasons to visit Penny Lick Ice Cream in Hastings-on-Hudson: Espresso Truffle, Amarena Cherry, and Trapani Sea Salt Caramel. These tummy tempters are among the new flavors of gelato on the menu as of today. “I kept these recipes very similar to things that remind me of my very Italian-American childhood,” says owner, Ellen Sledge.
The new gelato line named Carretto Gelato stems from Sledge’s early days selling ice cream out of a push cart at the Hastings Farmers Market. “Carretto Gelato, if you translate that from Italian to English, means push-cart gelato,” she says. “And since I started Penny Lick with a push cart it seemed fitting.”
Starting and growing Penny Lick at a farmers’ market required Sledge to use local, clean ingredients for her ice cream. Throughout the years, Sledge has kept that short ingredient list for all of her ice creams and plans to do the same with the new gelato line.
The main difference between ice cream and gelato, Sledge explains, is the ingredients: Gelato has a lower butterfat percentage than ice cream and uses a combination of whole milk and milk powder instead of cream. In addition, gelato is churned much more slowly than ice cream, which means less air is whipped into the product — this is what makes gelato so much creamier than ice cream.
Most modern-day ice cream machines have the churning options to make ice cream or gelato, which is how Sledge came to the idea of serving gelato at Penny Lick. “I already had the equipment, and I was having a tough time getting cream, but I could get milk,” she says. “Honestly, gelato was a COVID pivot.”
While the past few months have been rough, Sledge acknowledges there have been a few silver linings: “We hand out ice cream at drive-by 8th grade graduation[s] and [kids are] happy and it’s an experience,” she says, noting how, “people need experiences as much as anything else right now, so we’re happy to do all the little events.”
Insider tip: Stay tuned for Penny Lick’s ice cream of the month club, which begins in August in Westchester and expands nationwide in the fall.
Penny Lick Ice Cream
580 Warburton Ave