Prepare an ice water bath by filling a large bowl halfway with ice and water; set aside. Combine cream, half and half, sugar, and vanilla beans and seeds in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved, about 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks in a second large bowl until smooth. Remove cream mixture from heat and slowly pour about 1 cup into the egg yolks, whisking constantly until smooth. Pour cream and egg mixture back into the pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until custard coats the spoon, about 2 minutes. When you draw your finger across the spoon, it should make a mark through the custard, which should not run back on itself.
Remove custard from heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a third heatproof bowl to remove any lumps, scraping as much vanilla bean through the strainer as possible. Remove vanilla bean pods from the strainer and add to the custard. Place ice cream base* over the ice bath to cool to room temperature, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill completely, at least 3 hours or overnight. Once chilled, remove the vanilla bean pods and freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The ice cream will keep in the freezer for up to 1 week.
*The ice cream base can be made up to 2 days in advance though it needs 3 to 4 hours to harden in the freezer after it has been processed.
Makes 1 quart, serves 4-6 peopleMore posts from May 2015