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Ideal Milk Temp to Extract Vanilla Beans


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When making custards, the milk is infused with vanilla seeds and often the pod,  What might be the best temp of the milk to give the best extraction and infusion?  Might too high a temp damage the oils and flavor essences of the bean?  Too low not provide enough extraction?

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 ... Shel


 

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Bring it to the boil with the pod, leave it to sit as long as possible, put it in the fridge when it's cool enough.

 

Make sure you scrape the stuff inside the pod out before discarding it.

 

Bring it back to the boil before using it.

 

 

Edited for spelling.

Edited by jmacnaughtan (log)
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I can't remember where I read this, but I think it had to do with ice cream. It said to add the vanilla AFTER the custard had cooled, because heat is harmful to vanilla. Hopefully, wiser folks than I will chime in.

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I contacted a couple of sellers of high quality vanilla beans, and thus far received a response from one of them.

 

"Bring the custard mixture up to 160-170 degrees. Remove from heat, place in vanilla bean and scrapings. Let cool

to room temperature, remove vanilla bean. Leave in vanilla caviar. Finish recipe. "

 

As suggested by Elsie, I was concerned that too high a temperature might not be a good idea, perhaps damaging or destroying some of the flavor and aromatic compounds.

 ... Shel


 

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I have tried temps between 60°C and 80°C vacuum sealed in a water bath. This is for extracting into whole milk. I found that 60°C for two hours gave the best results. Any longer and the lactose beings to get a carmalized flavor. 60°C had way more floral notes when compared to 80°C. I would only go through the effort for delicate dishes. This testing was done for an unsweetened pannacotta.

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I have tried temps between 60°C and 80°C vacuum sealed in a water bath. This is for extracting into whole milk. I found that 60°C for two hours gave the best results. Any longer and the lactose beings to get a carmalized flavor. 60°C had way more floral notes when compared to 80°C. I would only go through the effort for delicate dishes. This testing was done for an unsweetened pannacotta.

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If you need something really "rich" but that doesn't take all night, add the vanilla to the milk and bring to a boil.  Take off the heat and place the pot into a 200F oven for 2 hours.  Re-scale the milk to the proper weight after removing the vanilla pods.

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Steve Lebowitz

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Steven Howard Confections

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