Gelato di crema (Vanilla cream base for gelato)

  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 170g sugar
  • 510ml whole milk
  • 225ml double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod
1) In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar until pale yellow and thick.

2) Combine the whole milk, double cream and 1 vanilla pod, sliced in half lengthwise in a saucepan. Heat the mixture just until it starts to bubble along the edges but do not allow to boil. Remove from the heat.

3) Remove the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds with the tip of a small knife and add the seeds back into the milk mixture. Discard the vanilla pod shell.

4) While whisking the egg mixture add in about 225ml of the warm milk mixture and combine together. Then add in the rest of the egg mixture to the milk. Heat the mixture slowly to 80C to 82C. The custard should be thickened and coat the back of a wooden spoon. Do not allow the custard to simmer.

5) Strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve, cover and refrigerate until well chilled.

6) You can transfer this custard into the ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's instructions. This will make vanilla gelato, or you can make the following variations:

Espresso: add 100ml of chilled espresso coffee into the custard before chilling.

Chocolate: add 85g melted plain chocolate into the warm custard before chilling.

Pistachio or hazelnuts: In a blender place 170g shelled pistachios with the double cream and puree before adding into the warm custard.

Amaretto: Stir in 110g of crushed amaretto cookies into the milk before heating and add 30ml amaretto liqueur into the finished chilled custard before freezing.

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