|Milk||3 Cup (48 tbs)|
|Sugar||3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs)|
|Vanilla bean/1 teaspoon vanilla||1⁄2 (3 Inch Piece)|
|Lemon peel strips||3 (Thin, Colored Outer Part Only, Each About 2 Inches Long)|
|Egg yolks||6 Large|
In a 3- to 4-quart pan, combine milk, sugar, vanilla bean (if using vanilla, add later, as directed), and lemon peel.
Stir over medium heat just until sugar is dissolved.
Place egg yolks in a bowl.
Gradually whisk in 1 cup of the warm milk mixture; then pour egg mixture into pan, stirring.
Continue to cook, stirring with a flexible spatula, until liquid coats the back of a metalspoon in a thin, even, smooth layer; this takes about 10 minutes (do not scald or custard will curdle).
Pour mixture through a fine strainer into a large bowl; discard lemon peel.
Rinse vanilla bean, let dry, and reserve for other uses.
If you did not use vanilla bean, add vanilla at this point.
Let gelato base cool to room temperature before using; or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
In a large bowl, smoothly stir 1 cup of the gelato base into the hazelnut, almond, chocolate, or banana flavoring.
Then gradually stir in remaining gelato base.
Pour into container of a self-refrigerated or ice-and salt-cooled ice cream maker (use 1 part salt to 8 parts ice).
Process or crank according to manufacturer's directions until gelato is softly frozen and hard to mix, then serve (remove dasher).
Or, to firm and mellow gelato, cover and freeze for 1 to 2 hours.
Or cover ice- and salt-cooled container with plastic wrap, then with lid; repack with 1 part salt to 4 parts ice, cover with several heavy cloths, and let stand for 1 to 2 hours.
Serve or store in freezer; for best flavor and texture, use within 1 month.
To make hard-frozen gelato easier to scoop, let it soften slightly at room temperature (about 10 minutes for a full batch).