To Serve 6
Single cream, a 284ml pot
Vanilla pod, 1
Free Range egg yolks, 4
Caster Sugar, 125g
Double Cream, a 284ml pot
- Pour single cream into a saucepan. Slit the vanilla pod open length ways with a sharp knife and drop it into the pan. Set the heat to medium and heat the cream until it just starts to steam a little, then switch off the hob. Let the pan just sit there and the heat will draw the vanilla flavour into the cream.
- Meanwhile, put the egg yolks into a jug and add the sugar. Whisk them well together for a minute until they turn thick and a little paler.
- Pour the saucepan of hot cream into the sugary egg mixture and whisk again until smooth. Pour it all back into the saucepan . Rinse the jug for later.
- With the heat set very low, stir the creamy mixture all the time with a wooden spoon so that it doesn't stick to the base of the pan but heats slowly and evenly. To see if the custard has heated enough, check from time to time with this classic test: take the spoon out of the custard and look at the back of it - the film of custard over it should look noticeably creamier. Draw your finger across the back of the spoon and, if the line stays clear and distinct, your custard and thickened enough. Turn off the heat and put the pan on to the work surface, carry on stirring for a few seconds so the cooking process is halted and the custard starts to cool down. Strain the custard through a sieve into the jug you rinsed out earlier.
- Fish the vanilla pod out of the sieve, rinse it under the cold tap and let it dry ( you could put it in a jar of caster sugar to give the sugar a vanilla flavour).
- As soon as the custard has cooled to room temperature, put the jug in the fridge for half an hour, then stir in the double cream.
- Either pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and churn it until it freezes or pour it into a plastic container . Freeze it for about an hour or until the sides start to go solid. When this happens, mash up the mixture with a fork, mixing the frozen sides into the liquid centre. Put it back in the freezer for another hour, repeat this twice more at hourly intervals, then let the ice cream go solid.