Friday, May 29, 2009

Homemade Vanilla Extract

As with many good things of this sort, this was inspired by my sister. Turns out it's actually quite easy to make vanilla extract.
  1. Get a bottle of vodka.
  2. Get 6 vanilla beans.
  3. Slit the beans, stick them in the bottle, shake it up.
  4. Put it in a cupboard for a few months.
You can take it out once in a while to give it a shake, and to watch the color deepen as it goes along. I find this kind of thing rather fascinating, actually, so I took photos at intervals:

Homemade Vanilla Extract

As you use it up, you can top it off with more vodka, and if you need a vanilla bean for something, you can pull one out and replace it with a fresh one. So it can be a fun sort of ongoing thing. Yum!


Lacey said...

Hooray! Have you tried it yet? I got my friend Sarah to start a batch as well. I love spreading fun culinary activities around. :)

Tandava said...

Yes, I made some vanilla ice cream a little while back, to go with one of Rowyn's cobblers. Good stuff.

cristie said...

Oh this looks so good. I've got to get my act together to do this. :)

Erin said...

wow!!! That is awesome! For those of us not well-versed in vodka... what size bottle? Does it matter what kind of vodka? Also, how long does it last? Does it lose its vanilla-extract-ness with time?

Lacey said...

Erin - the cheapest vodka you can get. Seriously! The vanilla is the magic ingredient, so there's no need to buy expensive stuff. 6 beans in a 750 ml bottle seemed to work beautifully. I have a friend who's trying small batches of 2 beans in 250 ml each, but she just started so I don't know how it'll turn out. The extract should just get stronger over time (within reason), especially if you keep topping it up with fresh beans, as Graham indicated.