Yield: 2 cups
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 45 minutes
1. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Warm the milk and vanilla bean and seeds if you are using it, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot and bubbling around the edges, about 5 minutes.
2. Slowly whisk the milk into the egg mixture. Pour the milk back into the pan. Cook over low heat, stirring continuously, until it thickens slightly and coats a metal or wooden spoon with a thin film, about 10 minutes.
3. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, discarding the vanilla bean. Cool over an ice bath. Add the vanilla extract if you are using it. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to several days.