Vanilla beans are a gourmet food that can be added to desserts to make pastry cream, scones, vanilla extract, etc. Vanilla beans can be used to flavor desserts using both their vanilla beans inside of the pod, and the vanilla pod itself.
How to cut a vanilla bean pod
Select a vanilla bean to use that has a dark and oily surface. Get out a large sharp knife for cutting open the vanilla bean.
- Place the vanilla bean on a cutting board.
- Pin the vanilla pin down with one hand where you want to begin cutting.
- Sometimes it’s easier to cut the vanilla bean in the center and then cut the rest of the vanilla bean. Place the tip of the knife close to your finger that’s holding the vanilla bean down. Cut the bean below your finger that’s holding it. Try not to go all of the way through. Make a small incision and continue cutting down the vanilla bean.
- The vanilla bean will be resistant to being cut. It kind of has a bit of a wood texture on the outside. Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise until the whole vanilla bean is open.
- Scrape the sides of the vanilla bean to get the beans out of the pod. You can place the beans on your cutting board or directly into your mixture. Some of the vanilla beans will adhere together.
- Once you’re finished scraping out the vanilla bean, you can also use the vanilla pod for flavoring as well.
How to use vanilla beans
If you’re making pastry cream or vanilla ice cream you can put the whole vanilla bean into the warm cream in the saucepan and it will ooze out vanilla flavor.
It’s easier to get the rest of the vanilla beans out this way as well.
Dip the vanilla bean into the cream and then use your finger lengthwise down the pod to push the vanilla beans into the cream.
How do you use a vanilla bean instead of extract
A vanilla bean can be used in place of extract by removing the vanilla bean seeds out of the vanilla pod. Place the seeds into your wet mixture, with your eggs and milk. Mix the vanilla beans into the wet ingredients until the beans have come apart from one another. Sometimes it’s difficult to get them to pull away from one another. Use a whisk if you have to, to separate the vanilla beans into individual seeds.
Do vanilla beans need to be cooked
Vanilla beans do not need to be cooked in order to use them. You can scrape the seeds of the vanilla pod and place them directly into an icing mixture. You can place the vanilla beans into cold milk to infuse the vanilla flavor and use the vanilla bean that way. There is no need to cook the vanilla bean pod before using.
How long do vanilla beans last
Vanilla beans last up to 2 years. Keep the vanilla beans in a warm, dry place.
Do vanilla beans go bad
You can tell when the vanilla beans go bad, as they will grow mold on them from being too humid.