8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2-1/2 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 cup half and half or whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
In a heat-resistant bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and ½ cup of the milk. Set mixture aside.
In a non-reactive pan, combine the heavy cream, salt, and one cup of the milk. Split the vanilla bean and, using the tip of a knife, scrape the seeds from the center of each half of the bean into the milk/cream.
Heat the milk/cream mixture over low heat, stirring constantly. When the mixture has just come to a boil, remove it from the heat.
Add the cream mixture to the egg mixture, a few tablespoons at a time, whisking constantly. You want to add the hot liquid to the eggs very gradually so that you don't inadvertently cook the eggs. This process is referred to as tempering.
When all of the cream mixture has been incorporated into the egg mixture, return it to the pan and place it over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon in a figure-eight motion.
Cook the custard until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. You can tell it has reached the desired consistency when you swipe your finger in a line across the back of the spoon and a very clear line remains. This typically takes about eight to 12 minutes.
Remove the custard from the heat and strain it through a wire-mesh sieve or cheesecloth into the bowl of the ice cream freezer.
Freeze the ice cream according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Once ice cream is frozen, place it in your freezer for at least one hour in order to allow the ice cream to set properly.