Beardcat’s uses a gelato machine, but you can use any ice cream or frozen dessert spinner—though the texture may differ slightly.
- Whisk yolks and sugar until light and fluffy; set aside.
- In a saucepot over medium-low heat, combine milk, heavy cream, salt and vanilla beans. Heat until barely simmering but not boiling. Discard vanilla beans.
- Slowly pour the hot liquid mixture into the sugared yolks 1 at a time, whisking fully between pours to prevent scrambling.
- Return the mixture to the saucepot over low heat. While continuously stirring with a wooden spoon, watch closely as the mixture begins to thicken in to a custard. Once thickened enough, it should coat the back of the wooden spoon. Remove from heat.
- With a fine mesh sieve, strain the mixture into a bowl and place over a water bath, stirring occasionally until chilled to prevent a skin developing. Place in refrigerator with a light blanket of plastic wrap on the surface until ready to spin.
- Prepare an ice cream or gelato machine as instructed and follow manufacturer’s directions for spinning frozen desserts. Transfer the gelato to a chilled container.
- For each variation, reduce amount of vanilla to one bean.
- Cinnamon gelato: add 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon to strained mixture before chilling.
- Strawberry gelato: add 1 and 2/3 cups pureed strawberries (about 3 cups sliced berries) to strained mixture before chilling.
- Chocolate chip gelato: add 2 cups semi-sweet mini chocolate chips to strained mixture before chilling.