March 22, 2012

vanilla custard

There is laundry to fold, people I need to write to and lists I need to make for Max's upcoming birthday party, but instead I'm going to write about custard.  Not of the cowardy cowardy kind, but that lovely home made pale yellow sweet velvety kind that I always thought was such a mission to make but now realise it's totally easy peasy.

This was the recipe, (I think, they are all much the same anyway). I didn't bother with any straining business and let my KitchenAid do the hard work, all that whisking of egg yolks and sugar, and then I slowly poured the warmed milk/cream into the mixer while it was still going, and then dumped the whole lot back into the pan and within minutes, there it was, the elixir to my puddings, home made vanilla custard (made with extract rather than a vanilla pod, which I didn't have at the time).

But since then, and speaking of vanilla, one of the most exciting parcels ever arrived this week.  18 natural java vanilla beans, sourced direct from the farmers themselves at a price of their choosing, and sold to me at a price that is positively bargainous.  From the most lovely people at Indrivanilla, I paid US$34 for 18 shrink wrapped beans, soft as you like and about 7-8" long each.  You're lucky here to get vanilla for less than $6 for a dried up shrivelly bean that's been sitting on a supermarket shelf for months, so the fact that I am writing this and able to smell the incredible aroma of this vanilla that I paid less than $2 a bean for (including express delivery from the US, that is), is somewhat exciting.

I'm going to put half the beans in brandy or bourbon, or maybe even vodka, so they keep forever and the rest I'm going to use in anything I possibly can.  Including custard, because now I know it's so dang easy to make.  Food.  It makes me so blummin' happy.

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