Saturday, July 13, 2013

Homemade Vanilla Extract

When baking sweets one universal ingredient seems to be vanilla extract. It's ever so frustrating when you think you have all the ingredients a recipe calls for but in mid preparation, you realize you are either out or extremely low on your extract. Well, I decided I was going to start now to get prepared for my holiday baking. Yes, I realize Halloween, Thanksgiving and CHRISTmas are a ways off, but they will come sooner than we know it.
After a trip to the market to pick up a few goodies, I decided tonight was as good a night as any to start my Homemade Vanilla Extract concoction. It takes very few ingredients & almost no time at all...well, man power time that is. 

Here's what you'll need:
1 cup Vodka
2-3 Whole Vanilla Beans
Container with lid
Remove vanilla beans from their container and slightly slit each one open. You don't want the bean to loose it's valuable inner 'meat', you merely want to give the bean an opening for the vodka to seep into the pod and work it's magic. Place the beans into your container.
Next, you will want to pour your vodka into the jar making sure that your vanilla beans are fully submerged. You may need to bend the beans slightly to make sure they are completely covered with the vodka. 
Once the beans have been covered completely, close the lid to the jar or container and let sit for 6-8 weeks. Keep an eye on the beans to make sure they continually stay submerged. As long as the lid is in place you shouldn't loose any liquid. If not, you may need to replenish the vodka to keep the beans covered in the liquid.
Keep in mind that the longer you allow the vanilla beans to soak in the vodka the stronger the extract will be in flavor. Also, if you add in more beans the flavor will intensify as well. Your rule of thumb is 2-3 vanilla beans per 1 cup of vodka. 

Since I just started my extract tonight, I can not show you my finished product. However, I will post picture updates as time progresses so you can follow the progression of the extract.  

UPDATE 7-14-13 
**It's been less than 24 hours since starting my extract but already you can see a change in the color of the vodka. 
UPDATE 7-16-13
** 3 days later and you can really see the vodka changing color from the vanilla bean. 
UPDATE 7-23-13
**Look at the beautiful color it has now changed to. It still has a way to go before it's ready but it's certainly on it's way to extract gold.
Click HERE for printable recipe


1 comment:

Mrs. B, a very peculiar person said...

I'm also making my own vanilla extract ... strong flavored homemade is always best!