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This recipe showcases real vanilla flavor steeped from a vanilla pod instead of from an extract. Unlike French vanilla ice cream, this recipe has one-third as many eggs, producing a lighter flavor with less custard overtones. The resulting ice cream is more suitable for a rich hot fudge sauce.


3 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar (divided into 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
1 vanilla pod

Steep the vanilla in milk and cream to extract flavor
Slice the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Place the seeds and vanilla pod in the milk and cream and heat over medium heat until simmering. Remove from heat and proceed to making the custard base.

Make the light custard base
Using a wire whisk or whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and 1/4 cup of the sugar until well blended. The color will change to a beautiful bright yellow when this happens. Remove the vanilla pod from the milk and cream and set aside. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the simmering milk and cream until blended. Pour in remaining 1/2 cup sugar and continue to mix. It's ok if you get a little froth—it will go away when heated. Scrape down the bottom of the bowl to make sure you mix in all the egg yolks and sugar. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, making sure to get all the vanilla seeds back in. Return the vanilla pod to the saucepan and cook mixture over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until the mixture reaches 170° F. Since there aren't a lot of egg yolks, it won't get to the point that a finger dragged across the spoon leaves a clean trail.

Chill the mixture and churn
Pass the mixture through a sieve or chinois to remove any egg bits or vanilla fibers. Chill in an ice bath or refrigerator until less than 45° F. Once chilled, prepare according to your ice cream maker's instructions. Transfer ice cream to dedicated container to ripen in freezer for several hours.

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