Subscribe for 99¢

"We went to Charlie Gitto's on the Hill for dinner before the Symphony, and they offered the most wonderful dessert. It was a pumpkin gelato, topped with chocolate ganache and pistachios."

This seasonal gelato can be served in a bowl or in a crumb pie crust, with or without chocolate sauce, a dash of ground cinnamon or nutmeg or even whipped cream, says Eric Vogel, the restaurant's director of operations. "We sometimes put a scoop of it on top of a serving of pie," he added.

The pumpkin gelato will be available at the restaurant through the end of the year, he said.

Although the amount of pumpkin in the recipe is small, it is enough to give the gelato flavor and a silky, pale color.

This recipe makes about a quart of gelato. Depending on your ice-cream maker, you may need to freeze the mixture in batches.

"The chocolate sauce is just a ganache, and we use it with a lot of things," Vogel said. It can be a dessert sauce or used fondue-style to dip fruit or cookies. The ingredients can be adjusted to make a more dense mixture.

---

Pumpkin Gelato > Charlie Gitto's on the Hill

Yield: about 1 quart

2 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy (whipping) cream

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup canned pumpkin pie filling (see note)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground allspice1. In a heavy medium saucepan, bring milk and cream to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat.

2. In a mixing bowl, stir together yolks and sugar; beat until foamy. Gradually pour the warm milk into yolk mixture, whisking constantly.

3. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Pour through a sieve or fine strainer into a bowl. Cover and chill completely.

4. Stir in pumpkin and spices: mix until well incorporated. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions. Transfer to a container, cover and freeze until firm.

Tester's note: If you can't find pumpkin pie filling, substitute canned pumpkin.

Per 1/2-cup serving: 230 calories; 15g fat; 9g saturated fat; 150mg cholesterol; 4g protein; 19g carbohydrate; 16g sugar; 1g fiber; 60mg sodium; 100mg calcium.

---

Chocolate Sauce > Charlie Gitto's on the Hill

Yield: 8 servings

1 1/2 cups heavy (whipping) cream

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (see note)

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring cream just to a boil. Immediately remove from heat.

2. Add chocolate chips; stir until chocolate melts completely. Pour into a bowl and cool.

Note: For a thicker ganache, increase the amount of chocolate as desired, up to 14 ounces.

Per serving: 270 calories; 23g fat; 14g saturated fat; 60mg cholesterol; 2g protein; 15g carbohydrate; 12g sugar; 1g fiber; 20mg sodium; 40mg calcium.

---

Charlie Gitto's on the Hill

5226 Shaw Avenue

St. Louis

314-772-8898

---

To request a restaurant recipe

Send the name and location of the restaurant and a description of the dish. Include your name, address (or e-mail address) and daytime phone number. E-mail requests to cookbook12@gmail.com or write to Special Request, 900 North Tucker Boulevard, St. Louis, Mo. 63101. We cannot guarantee a response.