1/2 of a vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
5 cinnamon sticks
2 whole star anise (optional)
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups very cold heavy cream
Steep milk: Place the vanilla bean, scraped seeds, cinnamon sticks, and star anise (if using) in a saucepan with milk and salt over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover, and remove from heat. Allow to steep for 10 minutes; then strain, discarding solids.
Combine Yolks and Sugar: Combine egg yolks and sugar in a bowl, and whisk until pale yellow and thick, about 3 minutes.
Prepare Custard: Fill a large bowl with ice and water; set aside. Return milk to stove, and bring just to a simmer. Slowly pour milk mixture into yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return it to the saucepan over a double boiler, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, or reaches 160ºF about 5 minutes. (Note: if it goes over 160 it will turn to scrambled eggs so have cold cream ready). Remove the pan from the heat, and immediately stir in cold cream. Pass through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl set in the ice bath. Stir occasionally until cool, about 5-7 minutes.
Make Ice Cream: Pour the custard into an ice-cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions, until ice cream is set but not hard. Transfer the soft ice cream to an air tight container and freeze at least 4 hours or up to 1 week.
Recipe created by Parties That Cook®
Makes 1 1/2 Quarts