Combine first 3 ingredients and 3/4 cup sugar in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Scrape vanilla bean seeds into mixture; add bean pod. Cook, stirring constantly, 7 minutes or until sugar dissolves. (Do not boil.) Remove from heat, and let stand 15 minutes.
Whisk egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in 1 cup warm cream mixture. Add egg mixture back to remaining cream mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 11 minutes or until mixture thickens and coats a spoon, and thermometer registers 160°. Pour mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a metal bowl, discarding vanilla pod.
Fill a large bowl with ice. Place bowl containing cream mixture in ice, and let stand, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. Cover and chill 4 hours.
Pour mixture into freezer container of an electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. (Instructions and times may vary.) Transfer to a container; cover and freeze until firm.
Julia Dowling Rutland,
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