Vanilla, like most things we love, is something we take for granted. It’s not flashy or unexpected, it’s often buried without thought under an avalanche of sauces and sprinkles. But vanilla deserves better, it deserves our respect.
getting to know vanilla
It’s a member of the orchid family
Pollination is mostly done by hand making it incredibly labor instensive
It is the second most expensive spice in the world next to saffron
A classic simple vanilla gelato recipe that has the creamy rich texture you crave in Italian-style gelato! Wonderful on its own or perfect for all your favorite toppings from chocolate to rum caramel.
49g non-fat milk powder
5g tapioca starch
627g whole milk
125g heavy cream
34g organic corn syrup
1 vanilla bean or 1 TBS vanilla paste*
pinch of salt
Make an ice bath and set aside. Have a clean bowl and a fine mesh strainer standing by.
If using whole vanilla beans: split the beans in half lengthwise. Scape out the seeds with a knife and reserve. Do not throw away the pods.
Combine sugar, non-fat milk powder, and tapioca starch. Mix milk and cream in a large bowl. Whisk in the dry ingredients until there are no lumps. Thoroughly incorporate the corn syrup. Add the vanilla bean pod (if using).
Place the mixture in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Heat until bubbles start forming around the edges but do not let it come to a full rolling boil. Keep stirring the mixture while it cooks. In the last few minutes mix a bit faster as the mixture begins to thicken.
Once it’s thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, pour it through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl sitting in the ice bath. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the gelato to prevent a skin from forming. Once the gelato has cooled, remove from ice bath and refrigerate for 4-12 hours.
Blend in vanilla seeds or extract with an immersion blender or whisk. Process in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The gelato is finished when it reaches the consistency of soft serve ice cream (about 20-30 minutes on most machines) Scoop into a container, place a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper on the surface and freeze until firm (4 hours minimum)