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|Yield:||2 1/2 cups sauce|
1) Before you start, set up a strainer and a bowl sitting on ice next to the stove.
2) Pour 1 1/2 cups of the milk or half & half into a medium-sized saucepan with the vanilla bean, sugar, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
3) In a medium-sized heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and remaining milk. Ladle half of the hot milk into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly.
4) Return the yolk mixture, to the saucepan, stirring to keep the sauce moving on the bottom of the pan. Return just barely to a simmer, checking the sauce frequently. DO NOT let it boil; if you do, yolks will curdle and the sauce will be lumpy. To test the sauce, pick up the spoon and run your finger through it. When it leaves a clean track, as shown, take the sauce off the heat.
5) Immediately pour it through the waiting strainer over the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Scrape the pulp from inside the vanilla bean and add it to the strained sauce, if you like.
6) Once the sauce is cool, cover and refrigerate. Use within 3 days.
Yield: 2 1/2 cups sauce.