Dream of making your own homemade vanilla? It's easier than you think and takes less work than most kitchen concoctions. I first heard of making homemade vanilla at a cupcake class by Sara Voortmeyer (beware her Citrus Cupcakes). When I saw that Costco was selling a double glass vial pack of vanilla beans, it was a sign. Next stop, my neighborhood liquor store for a few liters of vodka. Ready for the recipe?
Add beans to vodka.
That's it. Really. Okay, you want more specifics? Here are some helpful hints-
- Split the beans with a sharp knife before adding to the alcohol. Leave the end intact. This allows the seeds inside to release. Even if you've scraped the inside of a pod for a Creme Brulee recipe, the pod will still have seeds and can be used in making vanilla extract.
- Number of Beans x Volume of alcohol x Length of Time to Soak = 4 to 6 beans for every 8 ounces of alcohol for every 30 days
- Store in a cool, dark place
- Shake your jar daily to speed up the process
- Filter your extract with a cheese cloth before bottling. The specks may look appetizing in ice cream, but not as a clump in the bottom of a bottle
- Speaking of bottles, I found these amber colored, 4-ounce bottles at Industrial Container Supply and printed some labels on name tag stickers
- Include a small piece of bean to keep the extract soaking while you use it
Dreams do come true! You have your own homemade vanilla. Your baked goods will thank you for using the "good stuff"!