Put sugar, milk, heavy cream and salt in a sauce pan over medium low heat. With the tip of a small knife, like a paring knife, slice the vanilla bean in half length-wise and then holding one end, scrape out all of the seeds from the inside. Put seeds and bean into the milk. If the bean is too long for your saucepan you can cut it in half.
Warm the milk, sugar and vanilla gently until the sugar is dissolved, making sure to keep the heat low. If the milk gets fine bubbles around the edge lower the heat or move the pan off the burner. Be careful not to scald the milk or it will change the flavor and texture, which we don’t want.
Put the milk mixture into a covered container in the back of the fridge to get thoroughly cold, preferably for 24 hours. At the same time make sure your ice cream maker insert is in the freezer and getting properly cold; make sure this agrees with the manufacturer’s instructions.
After the milk mixture and the ice cream maker insert are properly cold, give the milk mixture a stir to ensure that the cream is evenly distributed. Either pour the mixture through a sieve or use tongs to remove the pieces of vanilla bean. Assemble the ice cream maker and churn the milk mixture according to your ice cream maker manufacturer’s directions. The ice cream can be eaten right away as soft serve, or frozen for ordinary ice cream.
This ice cream is very rich as it has a high fat content (120 grams of fat per quart). For comparison, Haagen-Dasz with egg has 144 grams of fat per quart, Breyers without egg has 56 grams of fat per quart. If this recipe is too rich for you, try using less of the heavy whipping cream or using skim milk instead of whole.