In a large mixing bowl, cream together the egg yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy.
Combine the milk, double cream and chopped vanilla pods and seeds in a heavy-bottomed pan, bring to the boil and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 30 seconds.
Pour the milk mixture onto the eggs and sugar, whisking continuously until smooth and creamy, then return the mixture to the saucepan. Place the pan over a medium heat and stir continuously for 4-5 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Strain the mixture through a sieve into a bowl, stir for a few minutes, then place into the fridge to chill until needed.
For the vanilla ice cream:
Halve the vanilla pods lengthways and scrape out the seeds. Add the pods to the cream and bring to the boil, add the sugar and stir to dissolve it.
Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl then strain the cream onto them, stirring constantly.
Pour the ice cream into another bowl through a fine sieve and whisk in the vanilla seeds. Pour into an ice cream maker or large freezer proof dish. Freeze until set. It normally takes around 2 hours.
Tip: Due to the absence of milk in this recipe, the ice cream does not crystallise in the freezer bowl. So there's no need to stir it. Ideal for anyone without an ice cream maker.
For the pear:
Mix the blackcurrent juice and caster sugar to taste.
Core the pears and place into a deep saucepan of blackcurrent juice - stem side upwards.
Bring to the boil and allow to simmer until the pear has been cooked through.
Take the pear from the mix and take a cutting diagonally across the bottom in order that the pear sits at an angle on the plate.