Basic Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

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In a large saucepan combine milk and heavy cream. Split vanilla bean lengthwise. Using a small paring knife, scrap out seeds and then put seeds and pod into milk mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and allow flavors to steep for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium stainless steel bowl, combine yolks and Sugar, whisk for 2 to 3 minutes until it reaches a pale yellow color, and Sugar is dissolved.

Reheat milk mixture until very hot but not boiling, and slowly pour about a third of it into eggs, whisking constantly. Then pour this mixture back into the saucepan with remaining milk. Over medium heat, stir constantly with a wooden spoon until thick and can coat the back of the spoon. Do not let it boil. Remove bean pods and allow to cool in a large bowl to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (ice cream can also be made one to two days in advance.) Using an ice cream machine, process according to manufacturer's instructions. Serve when firm enough to scoop.


vanilla Honey: Replace Sugar with 3/4 cup Honey.

vanilla rosewater: Add 1 1/2 teaspoons rosewater to mixture when it is cooled.

vanilla malt: Whisk in 1 cup malted milk to mixture when it is just taken off the heat before chilling. malt balls can be added when ice cream is almost done in the machine.

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