Vanilla ice cream just may be one of the most perfect desserts we know. It's delicious on its own, but top it with some fresh fruit, chocolate sauce or caramel, and it becomes absolutely heavenly.
- 1 1⁄2 cups whole milk
- 1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 4 egg yolks
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
Put milk and cream into the top of a double boiler. Add vanilla bean and cook over a pan of simmering water over medium heat until mixture comes to a simmer, about 30 minutes. Discard vanilla bean.
Whisk egg yolks and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until thick, smooth, and pale yellow. Gradually add about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture to the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly, then gradually add mixture back into hot milk mixture in double boiler, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat back of spoon, 15–20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to let cool, stirring frequently. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.