Hi everyone, today's tip revolves around a very important spice in the pastry kitchen- vanilla beans. Vanilla beans are the second most expensive spice, next to saffron and the reason that is, it is a very labor intensive process in order to create a vanilla bean. The pod is grown out from an orchid and they are green when they are first picked and it takes an orchid nearly ten years in order to produce the fruit and then, once they pluck the pod, this needs to be fermented and cured and that's how you get this wrinkly, little pod we have here.
And that takes about six months. So, that's all the time that goes in to making this vanilla bean. The pod itself has fragrance to it, but it is what is in the pod that is really where all the flavor comes from there. There are just thousand and thousands of little beans and it is almost like this like paste, this jam. And in recipes you will often see that they want you to use vanilla beans. So, what you have to do is, slice open a vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds, the actual vanilla beans themselves and that's what I am going to show you how to do it today.
What I look to do is cut off the tip of the pod and then actually slice down the center, down lengthwise. Peel back; the pods can itself and using the back of my knife, scraping the beans out. So, it is this paste and you can also buy a vanilla paste, if you are a silent client. So, that's just thousand and thousands of little vanilla beans.
When you order a dessert, that has real vanilla bean in it, you will often see specks in sometimes ice-cream too and that's what it is. It's all these little, these little seeds. So, once you scrap out the seeds, the vanilla pod itself is still very valuable. It still has a lot of oil in it and a lot of flavor to it and so, you can use it in a couple of different ways. Taking the actual dry pod and putting it in granulated sugar, you can make vanilla sugar.
If you, cut it up in a couple of pieces and submerge it in alcohol, a neutral alcohol, I would recommend something like vodka or you can make your own vanilla extract. Just let it sit for a couple of month, every now and again shake the jar and make sure that it is distributed. By that you can make your own vanilla extract. So, I hope this was a helpful tip. Don't be afraid of using vanilla beans, they are they are easy enough to use and if you have a question or a comment, please feel free to drop me a note on the website dyannbakes.com.