Total time: 1 hour, plus 2 to 3 hours chilling time or overnight. (Pastry chef Kimberly Boyce recommends 24 hours.)
2 cups cream
1 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 vanilla bean, sliced in half and scraped
4 egg yolks
1. Bring the cream, milk, sugar, salt and vanilla bean to a boil in a medium saucepan.
2. Meanwhile, whisk the yolks together.
3. Once the cream mixture has come to a rolling boil, turn off the heat. Take 1 cup of the hot cream mixture and stream it slowly into the yolks, whisking.
4. Slowly pour the egg-cream mixture back into the saucepan. Whisk. Turn the flame on low and cook until the base thickens slightly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, as the mixture will curdle.
5. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and chill for 2 to 3 hours or overnight.
Each serving: 403 calories; 104 mg. sodium; 256 mg. cholesterol; 34 grams fat; 20 grams saturated fat; 21 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams protein; 0 fiber.