Bring the milk almost to the boil, preferably in a double boiler or bain-marie. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until fluffy. Whisk in the milk and add the vanilla essence. Return the mixture to the pan and cook stirring until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Do not allow the custard to boil or it will curdle. Remove the custard from the heat and cool by standing the pan in a bowl of water topped up with ice. Stir the mixture until it is cooled.
Churn in an ice-cream machine for 15–20 minutes. Add the nuts, fruits and liqueur just before the end of churning. Do not add the fruits etc. too early as they will mash too much—the desired effect is to distinguish them in the ice cream.