Creole Cream Cheese and Cherry Ice Cream
Using a sharp knife, split the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the inside, reserve the bean. In a nonreactive saucepan, combine the half-and-half, sugar, vanilla seeds, scraped vanilla bean, and salt, over medium heat. Bring the cream to the boiling point and scald it. Remove from the heat. Beat the egg yolks in a bowl. Add the cream mixture, about 1/4 cup at a time, to the beaten eggs, whisking in between each addition, until all is used. Pour the mixture into a saucepan, and cook, stirring, over medium heat, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cream cheese and blend thoroughly. Pour the filling into the ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer's instructions for churning time. Swirl the cherry filling into the ice cream, cover and freeze for at least 1 hour.
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