Step 1To make the creme anglaise, place 1 cup of the cream in a medium saucepan over low heat. Scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean pod into the cream, then drop in the pod too. Bring just to a simmer. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 30 minutes.
Step 2In a small bowl, combine the sugar and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the yolks. Whisk half of the sugar-salt mixture into the cream, and whisk the other half into the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm cream into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly until incorporated. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and return the pan to low heat.
Step 3Cook the mixture, stirring constantly but not vigorously until the mixture thickens, making sure to prevent the mixture from curdling. When thickened, remove the mixture from the heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl, discarding any solids and the vanilla pod. Whisk in the remaining one-half cup heavy cream, and whisk over an ice water bath to cool. Cool the creme anglaise in the refrigerator, preferably overnight for the flavors to develop.
Step 4To make the French toast, heat a saute pan or griddle over medium heat until hot. Add enough of the clarified butter to thinly coat the surface of the pan. Dip the bread, one slice at a time, into the creme anglaise to coat on both sides, then remove, shaking off any excess batter.
Step 5Place the bread on the pan or griddle and grill 2 minutes per side, until golden brown on both sides. Remove and set aside in a warm place. To serve, place four slices on a warm plate and serve immediately with softened butter and maple syrup on the side.