1 1/2 pints
2 cups light cream
1 vanilla bean, split and cleaned
8 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
In a 1 1/2 - 2 quart enameled or stainless steel saucepan, bring the light cream and the vanilla bean and seeds almost to a boil over low heat.
Meanwhile combine the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl. Beat them with a whisk, rotary or electric beater for 3-5 minutes, or until they are pale yellow and thick enough to fall from the whisk or beater in a lazy ribbon.
Discard the vanilla bean from the saucepan and pour the hot cream slowly into the beaten egg yolks, beating gently and constantly.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it thickens to a custard that lightly coats the spoon.
Do not allow the mixture to boil or it will curdle. Stir in the heavy cream. Strain the custard through a fine sieve into a mixing bowl and allow it to cool to room temperature.
Pack a 2 quart ice cream freezer with layers of finely crushed or cracked ice and coarse rock salt in the proportions recommended by the manufacturer. Add cold water if advised.
Pour or ladle the cooked gelato into the can and then cover it. If you have a hand maker, let it stand for 3-4 minutes before turning the handle.
It may take 15 minutes or more for the ice cream to freeze, but do not stop turning at any time, or the gelato may be lumpy. When the handle can be barely moved, the ice cream should be firm. If you are using an electric maker, turn it on and let it churn for a about 15 minutes, or until the motor slows or stops.
To harden the gelato, scrape the ice cream from the sides down into the bottom of the can and cover securely. Drain off any water that is in the bucket and repack it with ice and salt. Let stand for at least 2-3 hours.