You need to make your custard base first. In a medium sized saucepan place the cream, milk, vanilla seeds, empty pod and brandy if using and very gently heat it up until it is steaming but not boiling. You don't want it to boil because this will scramble your eggs when it is added to them
While the milk and cream are warming up, whisk the egg yolks in a heat proof bowl together then add the sugar and whisk until pale. A couple of minutes should do it. I highly recommend using an electric whisk or stand mixer, especially for the next step.
Once the cream and milk are all steamy, very slowly begin to pour it into the egg yolks whisking all the time. Keep pouring until all the cream milk mixture is incorporated.
Then return the mixture to the pan and gently heat again over a low heat not allowing it to boil. Keep stirring until the mixture coats the back of your spoon.
Pour the mixture in a heat proof bowl and place to one side at room temperature. Returning to it every 5 to 7 minutes to give it a stir to prevent a skin from forming. Once cooled to room temperature cover and place them in the fridge for at least 3 hours preferably overnight if you can.
Its now time to churn your ice cream, in accordance with your manufactures guidance make your batch of ice cream. Remember to remove the vanilla pod before your start churning.
In my KitchenAid ice cream bowl I have to attach the correct attachments turn them on then add the custard and churn for 20 to 25 minutes.
While your ice cream in churning, take your Christmas pudding, which is approximately 4 slices and break it up into crumbs and small lumps.
When your ice cream has finished in your ice cream maker, add in your Christmas pudding and churn for a few seconds until it is all well mixed together.
Scoop into a tub and place in the freezer for at least a further 2 hours to harden up, then serve. This ice cream will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
*Note* If you do not have an ice cream maker but still wish to give this ice cream a go. Once the custard has been made and cooled in the fridge for a few hours, place it in your ice cream tub and place in the freezer. Returning every 30 to 60 minutes to lightly whisk it with a fork to break up any ice crystals that are forming.
Once it starts to solidify stir in your crumbled Christmas pudding. Return another few times to lightly whisk until you have a soft scoop consistency. Then leave to fully freeze.