camo_angels from Willamina, OR
Try your hand at making your own vanilla extract. Take a clean jar & pour into it 3/4 cup. vodka & 1 split vanilla bean. Seal the jar & allow to stand for six months, before using.
By Terri H.
I use a one liter bottle of vodka and add 2-3 vanilla beans, let it sit for one month, the longer the better. As you use it, keep the bottle full by adding more vodka. You will never run out of vanilla. I keep a small bottle (I reused a vanilla extract bottle) in my pantry for my baking needs. My friends and I have been doing this for over ten years.
I have had the same beans for years. The last place I bought them was at a supermarket. They are expensive but you only buy them once. (04/18/2005)
Thanks for that! I wasn't sure if you had to replace the beans or not. Does the quality of vodka make a difference? (03/10/2006)
I too will never sacrifice taste and quality for cost, however this recipe is time consuming not expensive. Just be sure to use premium spirits for best quality. Vodka is fairly neutral, rum sweet and brandy pungent.
HOMEMADE VANILLA EXTRACT
5 vanilla beans
1 pint good quality alcohol (vodka, rum, or brandy. They all have their own charms so make some of each or blend and experiment!)
Split the vanilla beans lengthwise, exposing the seeds but keeping the ends intact. Place the beans in the alcohol and cap the jar tightly. Store in a cool, dark place (the bottom of your pantry closet is a good choice), removing to shake the jar a couple of times a week. The extract must remain in the dark for at least four weeks, but four months make it even better, the longer it stands, the stronger it gets.
Pour the extract through cheese cloth into a large pitcher and then into bottles, placing one bean in each. Cork tightly, label and date. Use for your own baking or slap on a pretty label and give as a gift.
I have had this recipe for years, but have never tried it.
1 vanilla bean (4"-6" long)
1/4 cup dark rum or vodka
Chop up vanilla bean & put it in a small jar or bottle; pour in rum or vodka; tightly screw lid on jar so alcohol will not evaporate. Put in a warm cupboard for 2 months. Use as for regular vanilla extract. If extract is too strong, dilute with more rum or vodka. Makes 1/4 cup. (03/11/2006)
I make my own on a small scale. I took an old vanilla bottle and placed 2 whole vanilla beans (from my bulk healthfood store- which are a lot cheaper) and filled the bottle up with at least 80 proof vodka (I happen to use Popov). Shake it everyday for about a month. I use it after a month, and though I have had the beans for about 4 years now, I think they are loosing their potency, as it takes longer to make the same tint in the bottle as when i first got them.
I still buy the imitation from the store when it goes on sale, and I save the homemade for the really good stuff for special occasions because it is so much more delicate in flavor. HTH- Jamie (03/11/2006)
Chemistry question: would the molasses from the rum cause the vanilla to spoil? (03/11/2006)
Buy Watkins Vanilla. You won"t be sorry. (03/12/2006)
Penzey's Spices (www.penzeys.com) sells vanilla beans and many other top-quality spices. If there is a Penzey's shop near you, stop by and smell the spices before you buy -- it's fantastic stuff. (03/13/2006)
By Robin M
topvanilla.com sells great beans and they are a lot cheaper than the supermarket (04/16/2006)
I buy all my vanilla beans from HR Spices. I make vanilla extract using 2 beans per 1/2 cup of rum. I just let the vanilla beans sit in the rum for about two months and use as needed. The beans are always plump and shinny, the extract always come out great. I also make vanilla sugar by leaving the beans in a container of sugar. Delicious! (05/10/2006)
Gwen - I really would like to try with the rum, and my Yummy Mexican Vanilla has a month left....(wow, I have had it for 16 months!) How long does it need to steep? And have you ever had a problem with the bean going "bad" with the molasses, or I assume the alcohol would preserve it to some point. What I am looking at doing is steeping in a bottle to pour into my original bottle. (05/11/2006)
Don't worry about the molasses of rum going bad, it's a natural preservative. (01/06/2007)
It's one cup of rum per every 3 vanilla beans. The longer you leave it, the stronger the flavor and the darker the color of the liquid. (03/20/2008)
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