Basic Vanilla Bean Syrup

From A New Way to Cook by Sally Schneider (Artisan, 2001). © 2001 by Sally Schneider.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Total time: 15 minutes

Yield: Makes 1 cup, serves 4

Vanilla is one of the prime movers in fruit desserts because it heightens the natural flavors of fruits as it sweetens. This syrup has the sweet, rather floral flavor of vanilla beans that complements just about any fruit. You can add other flavors to the basic syrup, such as 1 tablespoon of an eau-de-vie such as Poire William or Calvados, strips of lemon or orange zest, spices, or herbs such as basil or rosemary.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 moist vanilla bean, preferably Mexican or Bourbon (Madagascar)

Instructions

  • 1. In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar. With a thin sharp paring knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise in half. Scrape out the seeds and add the seeds and bean to the pan. Simmer over moderate heat until reduced to 1 cup, about 10 minutes. Let cool, then discard the bean.
  • 2. You can make the syrup up to 1 week ahead; cover and refrigerate.
  • Note: Even after they have been cooked, scraped vanilla bean pods have a lot of flavor. To make vanilla sugar, dry them well and place in a jar of sugar for at least 2 weeks, adding more as you have them.

Prep time: 
5 minutes
Cook time: 
10 minutes
Total time: 
15 minutes
Yield: 
Makes 1 cup, serves 4

  • 11 types of gifts you can make in the kitchen

    Handmade gifts are among the best kinds -- especially when they’re edible. If you’re in need of a little inspiration, browse these 11 DIY gift categories to find the perfect idea for the food lover in your life.

Top Recipes

Lynne's Mailbox

As a thickener, flour is stronger than cornstarch and potato starch

Not only does flour thicken a liquid, but when you reheat the liquid, it will remain thick.