Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Ok, I really hope this will work. I am out of vanilla extract, but I'm still very well stocked with actual vanilla. (And yeah, you guessed it - vanilla extract is not to be found here. At least not REAL vanilla extract - just fake imitation stuff, and that at outrageous prices. As you can see, I'm whining again.)

Anyway. So this is an attempt to make my own extract. If anyone has a better idea, let me know - I still have loads more vanilla...

Vanilla Extract

Pour 500 ml of liquor into a jar. (I used vodka for one, and a mix of dark and light rum for another.) Score five vanilla beans per jar, and stick them in. Let them stand dark for a month (mine still has over two weeks to go) and shake them every now and then.

After that, I plan to sieve the mixture and pour into small bottles, and maybe stick a bean in each. Sounds like an idea, yeah?



Bean said...

My Mom had very good success with this when she came home from her travels with gobs of vanilla beans(I think from Mexico). She was told to use only top quality vodka to steep the vanilla in but I don't know why.

Anonymous said...

My grandmother always soaked her vanilla beans in good quality brandy for at least a month.

Anne Stesney said...

Yes! The Barefoot Contessa suggests making your own extract this way. She uses vodka.

My gran used rum for her extract.

Jocelyn:McAuliflower said...

I recommend whirling that in the blender- breaking up your vanilla beans into small pieces, thus maximizing its contact with the alcohol.

For making extract vs flavored alcohol, you may want to look at increasing the number of vanilla pods in your mixture.

My favorite extract from my vanilla experiments was 50 beans : 1 pint vodka, steeped for 4 months or so.

Either way- you're going to get good stuff!

Anne said...

Thanks for all the comments! Sounds like I'm on the right track! McAuliflower, I'll add some whirled vanilla beans, I think! And then, I assume, you need to sieve the mixture somehow before using? Whereas LexCulinaria - you just use it straight from the jar?

Sarah and Tiggy said...

Another great way to use vanilla pods is to stick them in a jar filled with sugar. Shake it around and leave for a month. Vanilla sugar! It's great in coffee.