Recipe courtesy of Melissa Gaman for Food Network Kitchen

Gelato-Style Vanilla Ice Cream

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 10 min (plus 4 hr freezing)
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: about 1 quart of gelato-style ice cream
Gelato is denser than ice cream — it has less air whipped into it — and it’s made with more milk than cream. The addition of cornstarch (which is common in Sicilian gelato) gives it a smooth texture and prevents large ice crystals from forming.



  1. Combine 1/2 cup milk and the cornstarch in a medium bowl; whisk until smooth. Combine the remaining 2 cups milk, the heavy cream, sugar and salt in a medium high-sided saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, until steaming, 3 to 5 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly, then pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil, about 5 minutes (it will foam up a bit). Boil, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds, then remove from the heat.
  3. Pour the mixture into a medium heatproof bowl. Stir in the vanilla. Let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until the mixture stops steaming, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate until cold, 2 to 3 hours.
  4. Stir the mixture, then strain it if it looks lumpy. Transfer to an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s directions until the consistency of soft serve. Transfer to a freezer-safe container, cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

Cook’s Note

Dissolve the cornstarch in milk before you add it to the rest of the base so it doesn’t clump. If you spot any lumps, strain the base through a fine-mesh sieve before you churn it. Let gelato soften for a few minutes before you eat it — it gets extra firm, so it needs to temper a bit.