Makes approximately 3 cups
6 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 pint half-and-half
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl. Whip until light and fluffy.
2. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean and add them, along with the pod halves, to the half-and-half. Bring to the scalding point and you see bubbles forming around the edge of the pan. Gradually pour the hot cream into the yolk mixture while stirring rapidly. (Put a damp towel underneath the bowl before you pour in the hot liquid. This will keep the bowl from moving around while you stir in the cream.)
3. Stir in the vanilla. Let the cream cool and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Stir before using.