A Rare Commodity
Vanilla is an expensive, rare commodity, and its depth of flavor ranks it right up there with the finest wines.It is described as ‘creamy, spicy, woody, floral and fruity’ when we taste vanilla. Vanilla is a spice.
Where Does Vanilla Come From?
Vanilla originated in Mexico with the Totonaco Indians, who were conquered by the Aztecs who, in turn, were conquered by Hernando Cortez. Along with other plunder, Cortez took cacao beans and vanilla pods back to Spain and the rest is history. Vanilla pods, commonly called vanilla beans, are the fruit of the vanilla orchid, the only orchid plant that produces an edible fruit. Today, the orchids are grown in Mexico, the Bourbon Islands, Tahiti, Indonesia, India, Uganda, and Papua New Guinea. They are hand pollinated, hand harvested and hand cured by farmers in a process that takes anywhere from 13 to 14 weeks. No wonder vanilla is so expensive!
Vanilla Pastry Cream Recipe
This recipe for vanlla pastry cream is the base for many decadent desserts.
Freeze leftover egg whites and save for leftover egg white recipes.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: Enough for 13×9 Layer Cake
4 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
12 large egg yolks
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
Have ready a large bowl filled 3/4 full with ice and covered with ice water. In large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring milk and vanilla bean to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, turn off the heat and let vanilla steep in milk for 10 minutes. Remove vanilla bean.
In small bowl, gradually sprinkle gelatin over cold water and set aside to soften.
In medium bowl, whisk egg yolks with granulated sugar for about 1 minute to combine. Gradually pour in hot milk, whisking continuously.
Return mixture to saucepan and, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, cook over medium heat until sauce has thickened and is 180 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, being careful not to over cook or you will have scrambled eggs! Turn off heat.
Immediately stir softened gelatin into pastry cream until dissolved. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into medium bowl. Place bowl of pastry cream into bowl of ice water and stir frequently until it starts to cool and thicken. If not using immediately as part of a layered dessert, chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
Vanilla is a spice
|There is nothing boring about Vanilla|