Pour the milk into a large, heavy saucepan. Scrape the seeds from both halves of the vanilla bean into the pan, and toss in the empty vanilla bean pod itself. Slowly bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove saucepan from the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Pluck out the vanilla bean pod, rinse well and dry (it can be used again if you wish).
Return the pan to the stove and add the cream, fresh corn kernels, and sea salt to the vanilla milk mixture, and bring to a simmer as you stir. Simmer for 4 min (mixture will reduce slightly while water evaporates from the raw corn), before removing the pan from the heat.
Remove the corn from the milk, draining with a slotted spoon. Transfer lightly cooked corn to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Add the cream mixture to the blender, pulse to blend a bit more, and pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean pan, taking care to “squish” as much of the corn liquid into the saucepan as possible. Keep cream/corn mixture warm.
In a large mixing bowl and a whisk or electric mixer, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar together until well combined. Egg/sugar mixture will be foamy.
Ladle the hot milk over the egg yolk mixture in the mixing bowl, a little at a time, stirring very gently with a wooden spoon to just incorporate (don’t “deflate” the egg yolk foam). When all of the milk-corn mixture is added to the egg mixture, transfer the batter back to the saucepan.
Heat saucepan over medium heat and stir batter slowly with a wooden spoon until the eggy foam starts to subside. By the time the batter reaches 165F, the eggy foam should be fully incorporated. Carefully watch the temperature of the batter, and as it approaches 175F, remove the saucepan immediately from the heat. Be careful to remove saucepan from heat before the batter hits 185F, or the texture egg yolks will turn granular. Which is gross.
Whisk the batter as it cools. To cool the mixture more quickly, put the saucepan in a larger, shallow pan of ice water as you whisk.
Optional: If you favor a smoother ice cream, strain the batter again.
After straining, if you strain, add salt to the batter. Cover the cooled ice cream batter with plastic wrap and allow to cool, at least 4 hours and up to overnight, in the refrigerator.
Transfer the ice cream batter to the freezing cylinder in your ice cream maker. Follow manufacturer’s instructions and churn until the ice cream is “soft serve” consistency. In our Cuisinart ice cream maker, it usually takes about 25 min to freeze 1-1/2 quarts.
Scoop the ice cream into a freezer-proof containter and allow to set in the freezer for at least one hour to firm up before serving. Use within several days.
We snagged this literally sweet recipe from the luna cafe.