From a very young age, one of Neven's favourite pastimes was to shadow his mother in the kitchen, watching her cook; his pastime soon became ...
5 egg yolks
125g (4½oz) caster sugar
½ vanilla pod, split in half and seeds scraped out
300ml (½ pint) milk
100ml (3½fl oz) cream
Place the egg yolks in a large bowl with the sugar and vanilla seeds. Whisk with an electric mixer for a few minutes, until pale and thickened. Place the milk and cream in a medium pan and bring to the boil, then immediately remove from the heat.
Gradually whisk the heated milk and cream into the egg yolk mixture until smooth, then pour back into the pan and place over a gentle heat. Cook gently for 6-8 minutes on a medium heat, stirring constantly, until the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Plunge the base of the pan into a sink of cold water and beat occasionally until cold. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. You should end up with about 400ml (14fl oz) of ice cream. Use as required.
Variations - Malteser Ice Cream: Roughly crush a 37g bag of Maltesers with a rolling pin and fold into the ice cream, following the ice cream maker manufacturer's instructions on when to add the flavourings (normally when it's half-frozen).
Caramel Ice Cream: Reduce the sugar in the basic custard mixture to 3 tablespoons and fold in 200ml (7fl oz) caramel sauce, following the ice cream maker manufacturer's instructions on when to add the flavourings (normally when it's half-frozen).
Cook Ahead: This can be made up to 1 month in advance and kept in an airtight container in the freezer until needed.