2 3/4 cups whole milk
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
6 large egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped to remove seeds
Combine 1 cup sugar and the whole milk in a heavy bottom medium sized saucepan. Whisk until blended. Add the cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, and vanilla bean seeds. Heat over medium, stirring occasionally until the mixture reaches 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Do not boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow the mixture to steep for 30 minutes.
Remove the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean pod making sure to squeeze any remaining vanilla seeds into the milk mixture. Return to medium heat and stir occasionally until it reaches 170 degrees again. While the steeped mixture is heating, combine the egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl. Whisk until foamy and slightly thickened.
Slowly temper the eggs with the hot milk mixture by drizzling large spoonfuls of the hot milk into the eggs while whisking continuously. Keep adding more hot milk until half the milk is whisked into the eggs. Add the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until it reaches 185 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the heat and blend using a stick or immersion blender to make sure the mixture is smooth.
Pour the heavy cream in a large glass or stainless steel bowl set over an ice bath. Set a fine mesh sieve over the cream. Pour the hot custard through the sieve into the cream and stir until blended. Add the pure vanilla extra and ground cinnamon and stir to combine. Continue to stir every 5 minutes or so until the mixture is cooled, about 30 minutes. Cover with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate overnight. Process the gelato in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer directions. Freeze the gelato in an airtight container for several hours before serving. To keep any remaining gelato for an extended period of time, press a layer of plastic wrap directly on the gelato then seal in an airtight container.
Makes 1 1/2 quarts
(base gelato slightly adapted from Making Artisan Gelato)