But not everybody likes coffee, the predominant flavor in hopjesvla, so when I said I also tried a recipe for vanillavla, the requests came flying in. This is so easy to make, and tastes great. You probably have all the ingredients at home already so let's get started! If you leave out the vanilla pod, you have the basic recipe for a simple vla: a great excuse to experiment with your favorite flavors.
1 vanilla bean
2 1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 drop of yellow food coloring (optional)
Bring the milk to a simmer in a heavy saucepan. Slice the vanilla pod in half, lengthwise. Scrape the seeds from the pod and add both seeds and pod to the simmering milk. Leave it on a slow simmer on the stove for about ten minutes. Remove the pod.
Mix the cornstarch with the sugar and the egg yolks to a thick paste, stir in the vanilla extract. Add a tablespoon of warm milk to the mix, stir and repeat, as you want to bring the egg yolks up to temperature. Add a couple more tablespoons of warm milk, then stir everything into the saucepan. Bring up to heat, keep stirring until the vla thickens, about two minutes. (Taste to see if it's sweet enough or vanilla-ey enough, if not add a little bit more sugar or vanilla extract. Be careful though, it's hot!!!)
Take the saucepan off the stove. If you must have a supermarket yellow vla, stir in the drop of food coloring. If not, pour the vla a bowl and cover the top of the custard with food film: you don't want a thick skin to form as it cools. Let it cool, preferably overnight. Stir the vla with a spoon before serving. If it's too thick, add a tablespoon of milk at a time until you reach the right consistency. Enjoy it by itself, mixed with tangy yogurt or with fresh fruit. Lekker!