5 cups heavy cream
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean
12 large egg yolks
To make the vanilla ice cream: Combine the cream, milk, salt, and 3/4 cup of the sugar in a large pot. Split the vanilla bean down the middle lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a paring knife; add them to the pot and toss in the pods for added flavor. Place the cream mixture over medium heat, and bring up to a simmer; stirring with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar. Cook for about 15 minutes, being careful that the mixture does not boil, simmer or scald. Shut off the heat, cover the pot, and allow the cream mixture to steep for 15 minutes to further infuse the vanilla flavor.
In the meantime, combine the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl and blend them lightly with a wire whisk. Gradually add the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar and continue to whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved and the eggs are thick and pale yellow; about 6 minutes.
Using a large ladle or measuring cup, temper the eggs by gradually whisking in about 2 cups of the hot cream mixture. Return this back to the rest of the cream in the saucepan and turn the heat to medium-low. Stir constantly until the custard thickens and leaves a path on the back of a spoon when you run your finger across it, about 10 to 12 minutes (do not let boil.)
Pour the vanilla custard through a fine strainer into a mixing bowl and place it over an ice bath and chill completely. Stir the mixture while it is cooling. For best flavor results, store the ice cream base covered over night in the refrigerator. Following the manufacturer’s instructions of your ice cream maker, freeze the ice cream. Transfer to airtight containers and freeze until needed.
Yield: 1/2 gallon