It’s probably no secret that I use a lot of vanilla extract in my baking, and I believe in using “pure” vanilla. So, I wanted to buy a quality vanilla, but I couldn’t get over the prices! That’s when I began looking for methods to make my own vanilla extract. Surprisingly enough, it’s an extremely simple task.
I did a lot of research, and I found a mountain of varying recipes. Some recipes called for anywhere from 2 to 6 vanilla beans to each cup of vodka, but I decided to use 4 vanilla beans to each cup of vodka. There were several vanilla bean varieties (Mexican, Tahitian, Madagascar, etc.). In the end, I chose Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans from Beanilla (purchased at Amazon) because they received great reviews regarding the quality of their vanilla beans. I picked the cheapest vodka that I could find because all the recipes, that I found, agreed that the cost of the vodka would not alter the processing of my extract (just make sure it’s 40% alcohol). There were recipes with instructions to cut up the vanilla beans or scrape out the insides of the vanilla bean. I chose the method of splitting each bean (leaving 1/4 inch at the tip in tact) and submerging them in the vodka. After sealing the bottle, I placed it in a dark bottom cabinet, and now, the wait is on.
Along with the varying recipes, there are also varying time frames about the length of time the beans should be sealed before the vanilla is mature enough to be used. The time frame is all over the place, ranging from 4 weeks to 6 months. So, I chose to store my extract for the full extended time of 6 months, and per several instructions, I will shake the bottle weekly until the extract reaches its peak.
Check back for new posts in the “Vanilla Bound” series, I will be posting pictures and sharing updates along the way.
Peace & Blessings.
- You Are Now vanilla Bound (Week 2) (shortbreadswee-t.com)