Run the tip of a sharp knife lengthwise down the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out into a small cup.
In a large saucepan, put the half-and-half, sugar, vanilla seeds, and vanilla extract; stir together; put saucepan over medium high heat and bring just to a boil, then immediately remove from the heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, put the egg yolks and whisk until smooth.
Remove 1 cup of the cream/vanilla mixture and very slowly start drizzling a steady, but slow, stream into the egg yolks, whisking constantly.
Continue whisking, and add another 1 cup of cream/vanilla mixture, drizzling a steady stream into the egg yolks, then add another 1 cup in the same way, then 1 more cup – for a total of 4 cups. Add egg mixture to saucepan, whisking well.
Now,take the bowl of eggs and pour into the saucepan with the remaining cream/vanilla.
Put saucepan back over medium high heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Test with a wooden spoon; when the mixture coats the wooden spoon and sticks well, it’s thick enough. You can test with a candy thermometer; it should read 170 degrees. BE SURE not to let it boil. This is your ‘custard’ to make the ice cream.
Pour custard through a fine sieve (or line a colander with several layers of cheesecloth) into a stainless-steel bowl which is sitting in a larger bowl filled with ice and a little water.
Let the custard cool in the bowl/ice bath, stirring several times until cooled completely.
Remove stainless-steel bowl with cool custard, cover well with plastic wrap (pressed on the surface of the custard) and put in refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours. (Stir a few times to help prevent skin from forming.
Remove from refrigerator and uncover; peel off any skin that may have formed.
Fill your ice cream maker with cold custard and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Store in freezer in covered freezer container.
If you don't have an ice cream maker, don't worry. There's a way to make ice cream without an ice cream maker. All you need is a large bowl (preferably stainless steel), ice, salt, a freezer, and some muscle power. Basically you'll be doing the work of the motor inside an electric ice cream maker.
Here's how it's done:
If you're looking for something a little quicker, easier, and healthier, try this recipe instead. You can make homemade ice cream fast with frozen bananas and a blender. I remember the first time I tried this. A friend told me about freezing bananas and putting them into the blender with a splash of milk for almost instant ice cream. I was a little suspect about the flavor and more importantly the texture, but it came out like a perfect soft-serve with just a hint
of banana flavor. I added a little sugar and a tiny splash of vanilla extract and it quickly became a family favorite.
The recipe has been on the site for quite some time and there are lots of awesome suggestions in the comments. Don't miss them.
Of course you don't have to stop there. Next, take the same banana ice cream mixture and spread it on some graham crackers. Top with a second cracker. Wrap each ice cream sandwich in freezer paper and store in the freezer until the filling has hardened.
Here are the full instructions for making these delicious treats:
Ready for more sweet treats? Check out the Cookies, Cakes & Pies - a collection of four of my most popular cookbooks available on Amazon.