Friday, February 28, 2014

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Vanilla is one of my favorite smells and flavors. So much so, that whenever I bake, I double the amount of vanilla the recipe calls for. A few years ago I read Make the Bread, Buy the Butter, a book about which foods are worth it to make from scratch at home, and which foods you should just buy ready made (an excellent book - well worth the read). The author made her own vanilla extract and blew my mind! I was shocked to find out there are only two ingredients. 

So I made my first batch of vanilla that week, using vanilla beans from amazon.com and cheap vodka. Delicious! (And much cheaper than $12 for the 1/4 cup or 60 mL bottles they sell at the grocery story.) I'm on the last dregs of that original batch so I made more over the weekend. Now, to wait patiently for 3 months! :)

DSC_0446 DSC_0449
Basically, you cut 8-10 vanilla beans down the center and scrape the insides into the jar. Throw in the bean pods and 1 1/2 to 2 cups vodka. The vodka will still be clear when you first pour it into the jar, but it darkens up quickly. Store in a dark place for 3 long months until it's ready.

This is about 10 minutes later after all the beans and vodka were added:
Do you use vanilla extract often?

10 comments:

  1. I have some spare vodka on hand (!) so I would love to do this, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spare vodka, huh? I'm not sure what that means . . ;)

      Delete
  2. I loved that book, I'd really like to make my own bitters! Amongst other things.

    Interestingly, I can't handle vanilla scented things, but I don't mind the taste. I often find when it's added to recipes, I hardly notice it, but I diligently add it. I actually added a vanilla bean to my sugar jar (which is currently empty, so the bean is sitting on the shelf all lonely!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really notice the taste for some reason. Like some people add vanilla to their french toast batter . . and it's only a tablespoon or so, but I can tell when it's there. Vanilla plus sugar sounds lovely :)

      Delete
  3. Your Pfaltzgraff plate is bringing my straight back to my childhood...

    Also, totally making vanilla extract as soon as I can figure out where to buy vanilla beans...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have the whole Pfaltzgraff set - plates, bowls, butter dish, etc. in that pattern. My mom and I stumbled upon them at a thrift store the week before I moved out for $20, score! If you ever watch Gilmore Girls, they use the same plates :)

      I got my beans on amazon (and they're great quality as far as I can tell) but a fancy grocery store like Whole Foods would probably sell them too.

      Delete
  4. I always add vanilla when whipping cream. Does it matter about the quality of the vodka? And is the mix the same as vanilla essence or vanilla extract? Or does it depend on the quality of the vanilla beans?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, this makes homemade vanilla essence or extract. Last time, I used cheap vodka and high quality vanilla beans and it turned out great, so I did the same this round. :)

      Delete
  5. ah 3 months. I did the same without a recipe. wondered how long I should wait.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hopefully not too much longer til your 3 months are up :)

      Delete

I love comments - please leave one (or twelve)!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...