Vanilla Bean Gelato

Was I the only weirdo craving ice cream and caprese salad with a snow storm in the forecast?  I'm totally ok with that.
Well, it turned out to be a lot of rain, not a lot of snow.  So I'll pretend I'm just gearing up for Spring and Summer.
I got this book last summer, then ended up making a couple different ice cream recipes from blogs I had found, and none of these gelato recipes!  Weird.  But I had the craving for vanilla ice cream, and I had two vanilla beans that I wanted to use for something good, so I cracked open that book and found this delicious recipe!  I ended up doubling the recipe, but I had way less vanilla beans than they called for (4 for the original recipe, before doubling), so I added some vanilla extract to make up for it and I loved it!  So here's the recipe I used below

4 cups whole milk
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
2 vanilla beans
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat up the milk and heavy cream to a simmer.
While those are heating up, prepare your vanilla beans!  Slice down the center and remove the little vanilla seeds.
Throw them in the milk mixture, stir around, and remove from the heat.
I just stuck this whole thing into the fridge to cool down completely.  It took at least an hour- just make sure you let it cool down completely, otherwise it won't freeze very well in your ice cream maker.  PS- I threw the vanilla bean pods in there too, just to kind of infuse everything as much as possible with vanilla flavor.
Meanwhile, put your sugar and egg whites into a bowl- you can freeze the unused egg yolks for a later use, or leave them in the fridge if you're going to use them within a day or two.
Whip the sugar and egg whites to soft peaks.

Side note- my kitchenaid mixing bowl was in the dishwasher, and rather than just clean that bowl, I decided it would be easier to just whip the egg whites and sugar by hand.


It's not easier!  That stuff is like industrial strength glue.  Good thing the milk mixture took awhile to cool down, I had like an hour to take breaks between whipping the sugar and egg whites.  <shaking head> I'm ridiculous.
At this point I added a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the milk mixture to make up for the lack of a gazillion vanilla beans.  Ok so add the whipped sugar and egg whites to the milk mixture and stir it up!
Pour it into your trusty ice cream bowl (frozen at least 24 hours in the freezer) or ice cream machine.
I let this churn for about 25 minutes before I put it into a container to further freeze in the freezer.
Let it firm up in the freezer, then totally dig in while watching the snow come down outside!
People make fun of me, but I really like vanilla ice cream.  I don't find it boring or simple, and the vanilla beans add so much flavor to this ice cream.  I have a feeling this summer I am going to be buying a loooot of vanilla beans to be able to keep this stocked in my freezer.
I also loved that this was mostly whole milk, not a ton of heavy cream and egg yolks like I usually see for vanilla ice cream.  It just tastes refreshing to me.  So maybe wait for some warmer weather, but I swear you won't be disappointed with this recipe!


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