Yield: 4 servings
|1 cup||Whole milk|
|⅓ cup||Granulated sugar|
|¼ cup||Strong espresso coffee|
Pour the milk into a heavy-bottomed pot. On a cutting board, split the vanilla bean down the middle and, using the tip of your knife, scrape all the seeds into the milk. Add the bean pod and bring the milk gently to a boil over medium heat, being careful not to scorch the milk or allow it to boil over. Reduce the heat to moderately low heat and cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the vanilla bean to steep in the milk for another 5 minutes.
Remove and discard vanilla pod. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl of an electric mixer, whip the egg yolks and sugar together at medium speed for 5 minutes. Add ¼ cup of the scalded milk in a stream, whisking, to the egg mixture to temper it and whisk the egg mixture back into the milk. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, strain through a fine sieve into a bowl and cool completely over an ice water bath before serving.
c. Michael Lomonaco