I have recently received my first (yes, there will be more!) shipment of beautiful vanilla beans. I have watched the chefs on The Food Network use vanilla beans for years, and I have always wanted to try them. I love the taste of vanilla, but not for $2.50/bean. EEK! That is the price of them in our local store, $5.00 for 2 beans.
There was some discussion lately about vanilla beans amongst the Daring Bakers. They mentioned buying them on eBay. Well, I’d never thought of that before, so I checked it out! For about $13, I was able to buy 20 beautiful, 6 inch, A Grade vanilla beans, and that INCLUDED shipping them to Canada! YES!! Let the experimenting begin!
2 cups milk (I used 1%)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped
4 egg yolks
2 Tbsp cornstarch
pinch of salt
1. Place the milk, half the sugar and the vanilla bean (and scraped seeds) in a saucepan over medium heat.
2. Combine the egg yolks and the remaining sugar in a bowl and whisk until light in color. Add in the cornstarch and the salt, mix to combine.
3. When the milk just begins to boil, remove from heat and remove vanilla bean. Very slowly dribble the hot milk into the yolk mixture, stirring all the time. When about half of the milk has been added, place all of the yolk mixture into the saucepan over medium heat. Using a spatula or a whisk, mix the pastry cream as it heats, making sure to reach all of the corners of the pan when you stir. Bring the mixture to a boil. Let boil for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. The mixture will be thick.
4. Remove from heat. Strain if you wish for a smoother cream. Place into a bowl and cover directly with plastic wrap to stop a skin from forming on the cream. Chill and use within a few days.
This recipe is adapted from an AllRecipes.com recipe.