Updated Monday, September 27th, 2010
Total Time: 35
Yield: 1_1/4 quarts
A rich custard base makes this homemade vanilla ice cream recipe "French vanilla," while using an actual vanilla bean gives it an intense flavor that mere extract can never equal.
In a large saucepan over low heat, add milk. Slit vanilla bean lengthwise, scraping seeds into milk; then add the pod itself. Cook until just scalded--don't let it boil. Remove from heat, and let stand 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks with sugar and salt until mixture is pale and sugar is partially dissolved.
Reheat milk to just before simmer. Whisk about 1/4 cup milk into yolks to temper eggs. Whisk in another 1/4 cup milk. Then pour remaining milk into yolk mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly.
Return mixture to pan. Cook, stirring continuously, over medium-low heat to 170°--don't let it boil.
Remove pan from heat and stir in cream.
Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a clean container. (You may rinse and re-use the vanilla pod; it still contains quite a bit of flavor.)
Cool to room temperature, stirring from time to time to prevent a skin from forming.
Then chill thoroughly.
Freeze according to the ice-cream maker's directions.
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