Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut out 12 pastry rounds 3 inches larger than the diameter of the ramekins and pat into the small ramekins. Line the pastry with foil and weight down with dried beans, rice or pie weights and bake for 5 to 8 minutes or until pastry is light golden brown. Remove the foil and beans and set ramekins aside. In a sauce pot, combine the cream, sugar, scraped vanilla bean and vanilla bean. Bring the cream up to a simmer to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the vanilla bean. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks until frothy. Temper the cream into the yolks. Place a macaroon in the center of each pie shell. Pour the custard into the shells. Place the ramekins in a warm water bath. Bake for 20 minutes or until the custard is set and the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven. Serve cold. Garnish with the whipped cream, mint, and powdered sugar.
Yield: 12 servings