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In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine milk, cream, and sugar. Split the vanilla bean in half, long ways, and scrape out the seed with the back of the knife. Add both the seeds and the bean into the milk mixture and bring it up to just under a boil. Make sure to stir occasionally and DO NOT curdle the milk.
In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.Once the milk mixture is heated to just under a boil, slowly drizzle it into the egg yolks while whisking to bring the yolks up to temperature. DO NOT scramble the yolks!*After at least 1½ cups of the hot milk mixture has been added to the yolks, you can increase the pour speed and not have to worry so much about scrambling the yolks.*
When all of the milk mixture has been whisked into the yolks, pour the ice cream base back into the saucepan. Heat the ice cream base over medium heat and stir constantly until it becomes thicker and coats the back of a spoon. DO NOT scramble!
Add bourbon to the hot ice cream base and stir to combine.
Strain the ice cream base through a fine mesh sieve, onto a sheet pan, to remove all unwanted lumps and vanilla bean pods.Cover the ice cream base with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic is touching the entire surface of the ice cream base. Refrigerate the base until it is completely chilled.
Pour the ice cream base into a prepared ice cream churner and churn the ice cream according to manufacture instruction. The ice cream is ready once it is just a tad softer than soft-serve consistency.For our ice cream, we used our KitchenAid churner attachment. We churned the ice cream on medium low speed until the ice cream has develop some body. Then, increase the speed to medium and churned the ice cream until just under a soft-serve consistency.*Because alcohol is added to the ice cream, the ice cream will take a longer time to churn and stay pretty soft until frozen.*
Add the pecan pieces to the churned ice cream and give it a couple of quick mix.
Transfer the ice cream into a a freezer-safe container, like a loaf pan, and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze the ice cream for at least 2 hours or overnight to harden.*If freezing overnight, make sure to cover the ice cream properly to prevent your ice cream from developing freezer taste.*
Remove the ice cream from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften up slightly for a more enjoyable texture.Enjoy!