For some reason, it never occurred to me to make my own homemade vanilla extract.
I’m a big fan of Elise Bauer’s Simply Recipes blog. And how could I not be? Elise’s site is hands down one of the most reputable cooking blogs I’ve yet to run across. So far, every recipe I’ve made from Simply Recipes has turned out just as expected, with minimal futzing with times, temperatures, and amounts. Dependable recipes from internet cooking sites are rare, let me tell you!
The other day Elise’s post for making your own vanilla extract showed up in my RSS reader. I had a 200ml bottle of Absolut vodka sitting in my cupboard from a chai white russian experiment that never happened, so I thought that this would be the perfect project for it. I also have a ridiculous number of vanilla beans languishing in my freezer due to a crazy internet sale that I’d found a few months ago, and this would put them to good use as well. Trust me when I tell you that one pound of vanilla is a lot of beans.
How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract
The directions are pretty straightforward: cut three vanilla beans in half and slice them down the middle lengthwise, leaving the last half an inch in tact at the end to keep the slices connected:
In an airtight glass container, add the beans to one cup of high quality vodka. Place the container in a dark place for a few months and shake it every few days. This stuff will keep forever, so you may never need to buy vanilla extract again.
Can you guess what people will be getting for Christmas this year?