Slice corn cobs into one-inch slices. This was the hardest part of making homemade corn syrup. It's not easy to cut corn cobs. Use a sharp knife, put your weight into it, and be careful. Note: If you plan to leave the corn off, skip directly to step five.
Bring a medium-sized saucepan filled with the water and cut corn to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium and simmer until water is reduced by half - about thirty minutes.
Using a colander, strain out the corn, reserving the corn-flavored water.
Return the water to the saucepan and add the sugar and salt.
Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add both the seeds and the pod to the saucepan.
Turn heat to medium-low and stir until sugar is dissolved.
Simmer until the mixture is thick enough to stick to the back of a spoon. Amanda said to simmer for thirty minutes, but I let mine go for an hour. I know because I watched an entire episode of Mad Men while it was cooking down.
Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Store in the refrigerator with the vanilla bean until ready to use.
When ready to use, if necessary, microwave with a touch of water and gently stir to remove the sugar crystals.