Cooking School: How to Prep Fresh Vanilla Bean
Cooking with real vanilla bean can be intimidating, not to mention expensive. At about $2 per bean, they don't come cheap, but if you can afford to splurge on it every now and then, it's worth it. Not only is it healthier than imitation vanilla extract, but unlike even the real bottled vanilla extract, cooking with the beans gives desserts a beautiful color.
1. Cut the vanilla bean. Using your thumb and index finger, hold the bean down at each end. Take a pairing knife and slice lengthwise straight down the middle. Only cut the top layer open. Do not cut through the bottom side.
2. Open wide. Spread the bean open as wide as you can.
3. Scoop It Out. Using a butter knife or small spoon, slowly scrape the filling out from one end to the other.
The filling from one vanilla bean is typically enough for one 4-6 person recipe.
With Spring coming up, now is the perfect time to splurge on vanilla bean. Add it to iced coffee for a fancy brunch, or add it to your fruit pie recipes for a little extra flavor.