In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, half-and-half, and vanilla bean. Whisk in the white pepper and stir the mixture occasionally to make sure it does not scorch on the bottom. When the mixture reaches a simmer (do not let it boil), turn off the heat. Set aside to infuse for 10 to 15 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar.
Whisking constantly, slowly pour the still-hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. At 160 degrees F, the mixture will give off a puff of steam. When the mixture reaches 180 degrees F, it will be thickened and creamy, like eggnog. If you do not have a thermometer, test it by dipping the wooden spoon into the mixture. Run your finger down the back of the spoon. If the stripe remains clear, the mixture is ready; if the edges blur, the mixture is not quite thick enough. When it is ready, quickly remove it from the heat.
Half-fill a large bowl with ice water. Strain the mixture into a smaller bowl to smooth it and remove the vanilla bean. Rest the smaller bowl in the ice water and let the mixture cool, stirring often, then continue according to the directions of your ice cream maker.
Recipe courtesy of Gale Gand, “Butter Sugar Flour Eggs” by Gale Gand, Rick Tramonto, Julia Moskin, Clarkson N. Potter Publishers, 1999