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 for later. 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, being sure to scrape all of it into the bowl. 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 the bowl that is standing by. Stir in vanilla bean seeds or vanilla paste. If the vanilla clumps together blend with an immersion blender (or a whisk).
Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the gelato to prevent a skin from forming. Put the bowl of hot gelato into the ice bath.
After the gelato has cooled, remove from the ice bath and refrigerate for 4-12 hours.
Give the gelato a quick stir with an immersion blender or whisk then 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)