MAKES 1 QUART
You can make this festive ice cream—a holiday favorite—up to a week in advance—but don't expect it to last once your friends and family get a taste of it.
2 fresh vanilla beans
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 1⁄2 cups milk
1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
1⁄2 cup good-quality peppermint candy, crushed into small
1. Slice vanilla beans lengthwise down the center with a sharp paring knife. With your fingers, spread beans open, then scrape out and reserve black seeds, discarding pods. Put seeds in a small bowl, add 1⁄4 cup of the sugar, and mix well.
2. In a medium-size bowl, combine remaining 3⁄4 cup sugar, vanilla–sugar combination, and egg yolks, and beat until mixture becomes creamy and turns a pale yellow. Add milk and cream and mix well into a custard-like consistency. Refrigerate until ready to use, preferably overnight.
3. Pour custard into an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions. About 10 minutes before ice cream is ready, feed crushed peppermint candy into ice cream maker. Serve immediately or freeze in an airtight container to keep ice cream soft until ready to use.