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Vanilla Custard Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 1/2 cups milk
2/3 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
3 inch piece vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract

In a heavy 2-quart saucepan or double boiler over medium-low heat,
stir and heat the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla bean until the
sugar dissolves. Do not boil. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks
lightly. While whisking, pour 1 cup of the hot cream mixture into
the bowl, then pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and
place over medium-low heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon
(don't let the mixture boil; it could curdle) for about 8 minutes,
or until it begins to thicken and coats the spoon. To test for
doneness, dip a metal spoon into the mixture and run your finger
across the back. The custard is done when your finger leaves a
clear, clean trail. A candy thermometer should read 175-180 degrees
F. Remove the pan from the heat and remove the vanilla bean. If
using extract, stir it in now. Pour the mixture into an ice cream
maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.


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