The Chocolate Gourmand

French Vanilla Ice Cream
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3 cups half and half
1 vanilla bean
3/4 cup sugar
6 egg yolks

Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Place the seeds and bean pod in the half and half and heat over medium heat until simmering. Remove from heat and proceed to making the custard.

Beat the egg yolks and sugar until well blended. The color will change to a beautiful bright yellow when this happens. With the mixer still running, slowly pour in the simmering half and half. Continue blending and then return to the stove. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture begins to thicken. When a finger drawn across the back of a wooden spoon leaves a path, it is thick enough.

I usually opt to pass the mixture through a chinois to remove any vanilla fibers or bits of egg. Don't worry, the vanilla bean seeds will pass through the chinois.