You say the word “cinnamon” (in this case, Mount Cinnamon), and we’re off to the races daydreaming about rolls, cookies, cakes, coffee cakes, muffins, doughnuts, gelato (yes, gelato!), and so on and so on. The warm and comforting spice—taken from the bark of exotic trees—is a must-have in any kitchen, and rumor has it that one teaspoon of cinnamon has as many antioxidants as a full cup of pomegranate juice.
To honor this versatile staple in our cooking arsenal, we give you a recipe for gelato (told you we weren’t kidding) that highlights this lovely spice.
.–F. W. Pearce and Danilo Zecchin
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the milk and cream and cook, stirring occasionally so a skin doesn’t form, until tiny bubbles start to form around the edges and the mixture reaches a temperature of 170°F (77°C).
2. Meanwhile, in a medium heat-proof bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Gradually whisk in the sugar until it is well incorporated and the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Temper the egg yolks by very slowly pouring in the hot milk mixture, whisking continuously. Return the custard to the saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and it reaches a temperature of 185°F (85°C). Do not bring to a boil.
3. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Let cool to room temperature, stirring every 5 minutes or so. (To hasten the cooling process, place the bowl of custard in an ice bath and stir until the custard has cooled.) Once completely cooled, cover and refrigerate the custard for at least 4 hours or overnight.
4. Gently whisk the vanilla and cinnamon into the custard. Pour the mixture into the container of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to an airtight container to chill for at least 2 hours before serving.