How to make it

  • In a medium pot, bring the milk to a simmer along with the vanilla bean pods. Turn off the heat and set aside to steep for at least one hour, or as long as time allows.
  • After steeping, remove the vanilla bean pods and use a rubber spatula to extract the thick vanilla goo from inside each. Return the milk to a simmer. Meanwhile, whisk together the sugar, reserved vanilla bean scrapings, cornstarch, eggs and yolks in a medium bowl.
  • Whisk about a half cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture—it will be thick at first but will loosen as the milk incorporates. Continue whisking in hot milk until the egg mixture is fluid and warm. Now, return the tempered egg/milk mixture back into the pot of hot milk, whisking all the while. Turn the heat to medium and whisk until the mixture begins to thicken and bubble sluggishly. From that point, continue whisking and cooking for a full minute more; use a timer or you run the risk of not fully cooking out the cornstarch. When the minute is up, pour the custard into a large mixing bowl.
  • The custard may be cooled quickly by mixing it continuously in a stand mixer. If time isn’t an issue, you can press a layer of plastic wrap against its surface and refrigerate until cool. You can wait even so long as overnight or a few days.
  • Either way, once the custard has cooled completely, use a hand or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment to beat it on medium to medium high speed until creamy. (If you did not refrigerate the custard, please do take caution to make sure you’re not rushing things; if the custard has not been mixed long enough to cool to perfect room temperature, the butter will melt in the next step and you’ll have a very soupy mess on your hands.)
  • Once the cooled custard has been whipped until creamy, begin adding in the butter, one tablespoon at a time. Add the salt and continue to whip until the mixture is creamy and homogenous.

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