This gelato, named after Bernardo Buontalenti, a sixteenth-century Florentine who may have been one of the world’s original ice-cream makers, is made with any number of flavorings. The “secret” ingredient is usually a liqueur (such as Di Saronno Amaretto). A delicious alternative would be a pinch of mixed spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup minus 1 tablespoon superfine granulated sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon Di Saronno Amaretto or other flavoring (see note, above)
In a 2-quart heavy saucepan bring milk and about half of sugar just to a simmer, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
Have ready a large bowl of ice and cold water. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat yolks and remaining sugar until thick and pale. Add hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking, and pour into saucepan. Cook custard over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until a thermometer registers 170°F. (Do not let boil.) Pour custard through a sieve into a metal bowl set in ice and cold water and cool. Stir in cream and add liqueur. Chill custard, covered, until cold and up to 4 hours.
Freeze custard in an ice-cream maker. Serve gelato immediately or transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden no more than 2 hours.