Vanilla Gelato

  • Serves: Makes 1 quart

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Gelato and photo by Sarah Phillips © Sarah Phillips 
Creamy, dreamy gelato gets it's remarkable texture because there is less air beaten into it than ice cream. It also tastes richer than ice cream, but has surprisingly less butterfat. I adore gelato, whether it's a simple vanilla, as the recipe here, or flavored in myriad ways. This recipe is adapted from Nancy Silverton's "The Mozza Cookbook."

6 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 cups whole or 2% milk
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup nonfat instant dry milk powder 
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 whole vanilla beans; preferably Tahitian
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream

1. Fill a bowl with ice water and set a smaller bowl inside. Set a fine mesh strainer in the smaller bowl.

2. Whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch together in a medium bowl until the cornstarch dissolves. Combine the milk, sugar, milk powder, corn syrup and salt in a medium (4-quart) saucepan and whisk and break up and dissolve the milk powder.

3. Using  sharp knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise. Use the back of the knife to scrape out the seeds and pulp and add them and the beans to the pan with the milk.

4. Heat the milk mixture over high heat until it begins to bubble and immediately turn off the heat. Slowly add 1/2 cup of he hot milk mixture to the bowl with the eggs, whisking constantly. Continue to add the milk 1/2 cup at a time, whisking constantly, until you have added about half of the milk, or enough to warm the eggs slightly.

5. Pour the egg and milk mixture into the pot with the milk, return the pot to medium-low heat, and cook, stirring constantly with the whisk or wooden spoon, taking care not to let the custard boil or the eggs will curdle, until the gelato base thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.

6. Pour the gelato base through the strainer into the bowl set over the ice water and discard the vanilla beans. Stir in the vanilla extract and set aside to cool to room temperature. Transfer the base to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least several hours and up to three days.
Remove the base from the refrigerator and pour it into a large bowl, and stir in the cream.

7. Pour the base into the bowl of an ice cream or gelato maker and process it according to the machine instructions.

Serve the gelato straight from the maker or transfer it to an airtight container and place it in the freezer until you’re ready to serve it. Serve the gelato within a few hours of processing it, before it hardens.

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