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French Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe
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French Vanilla Ice Cream

1 vanilla bean
1 1/4 C. milk
1/2 C. granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
1 C. chilled whipping/heavy cream (36 percent fat)

Split the vanilla bean in half and combine with the milk and half the sugar in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to just below boiling point. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and set aside for a minimum of 15 minutes to allow the vanilla flavor to develop.

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized heat-proof bowl, combine the egg yolks with the remaining sugar and beat, preferably with an electric hand mixer, until the mixture is pale and thick enough to hold the shape when a ribbon of mix is trailed across the surface. Bring the milk to the boiling point, then pour it in a thin stream onto the egg yolks and sugar, whisking steadily as the milk is added.

Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water (a double boiler works well here). Stir frequently with a small wooden spoon or spatula until it thickens or reaches 185F. This can take from 5 to 30 minutes. If you don't have a thermometer, check the sauce by removing the spoon and tilting the back toward you. It should coat the back of the spoon and hold a clear line when you run your finger across it.

Remove the pan from the heat and plunge the base into a few inches of cold water. Stir occasionally while allowing it to cool completely.

When cool, transfer the custard to a bowl or jug, leaving the vanilla bean in the custard. Cover and refrigerate. When ready to make ice cream, use a teaspoon or the back of a knife to separate the tiny black vanilla seeds from the bean. Stir them into the custard with the cream and pour into the ice-cream machine. Churn until it is the consistency of softly whipped cream.

Makes about 3 1/4 cups. 

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