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Vanilla Gelato Base


5 large egg yolks

3/4 cups sugar

2 1/4 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon salt

2 vanilla beans, split down the center with a sharp knife

For strawberry gelato

1 2/3 cups pureed strawberries (about 3 cups of strawberries)

For cinnamon gelato

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

For chocolate chip gelato

2 cups semi-sweet mini chocolate chips


Beardcat’s uses a gelato machine, but you can use any ice cream or frozen dessert spinner—though the texture may differ slightly.
  1. Whisk yolks and sugar until light and fluffy; set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Slowly pour the hot liquid mixture into the sugared yolks 1 at a time, whisking fully between pours to prevent scrambling.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Gelato Flavors

  1. For each variation, reduce amount of vanilla to one bean.
  2. Cinnamon gelato: add 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon to strained mixture before chilling.
  3. Strawberry gelato: add 1 and 2/3 cups pureed strawberries (about 3 cups sliced berries) to strained mixture before chilling.
  4. Chocolate chip gelato: add 2 cups semi-sweet mini chocolate chips to strained mixture before chilling.
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