Eggs enrich custards, giving them a silky consistency. But if added to piping-hot ingredients, they will curdle, so they must be tempered to decrease the temperature difference. Gently and gradually adding hot liquid to the eggs ensures they won't scramble as they cook to a safe temperature.

VANILLA ICE CREAMHands-on: 20 min. Total: 5 hr. 20 min.

1 ½ cups half-and-half1 ½ cups evaporated low-fat milk2/3 cup sugar, divided1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped3 large egg yolks

1. Bring half-and-half, milk, 1/3 cup sugar, and vanilla bean and seeds to a simmer in a medium saucepan.

Why? Heating dissolves the sugar and infuses the vanilla into the liquid.

2. Combine yolks and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a bowl, whisking vigorously until thick and pale.

Why? Whisking dissolves the sugar and thickens the yolks.

3. Gradually add 1 cup of hot milk mixture to yolk mixture in a thin stream, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add yolk mixture to pan, and cook over medium-low heat for 2 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°.

What's happening? The yolks are warming up enough to cook with the rest of the hot milk mixture.

4. Strain into a clean bowl set over an ice-water bath, stirring to cool. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

What's happening? Straining removes the vanilla bean and any tiny bits of egg that may have coagulated, ensuring the smoothest consistency.

SERVES 8 (serving size: ½ cup)CALORIES 182; FAT 7.6g (sat 3.8g, mono 2.2g, poly 0.5g); PROTEIN 5g; CARB 23g; FIBER 0g; CHOL 93mg; IRON 0mg; SODIUM 74mg; CALC 176mg

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