Yield: 6 servings
Pour the milk into a heavy pan with a split vanilla bean and bring slowly to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let infuse for 20 minutes. Take out the vanilla bean and scape the seeds into the liquid.
Beat the egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale. Gently reheat the milk or cream and beat a little of it into the egg yolks. Pour the egg mixture into the cream and return the pan to a low heat. Stir until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon; it will take several minutes. Do not let it boil, or you'll end up with scrambled eggs!
Remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir until it has almost cooled. Whip the whipping cream gently and fold it into the custard.
Place cream mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
For quicker results, let the cream mixture cool in the fridge before placing in the machine. If you don't have a vanilla bean, you can substitute one teaspoon of extract. (You can also use both the real bean and extract for more vanilla flavor.)