In a small saucepan bring the water, sugar and vanilla bean to a boil. Once it's boiled, pour into a shallow 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish and let cool to room temperature. Place in the freezer and freeze solid, at least 6 hours or overnight. To serve, scrape the frozen vanilla ice with a spoon to shave it. Place shaved ice in bowls that have been in the freezer. In a small saucepan, bring the maple syrup to the softball stage, 240 degrees F. Immediately take off the heat and drizzle over the vanilla ice. It will slightly harden and become chewy. You can also roll up the syrup on a lollipop stick.
Recipe courtesy of Gale Gand