Saturday, February 9, 2013

Homemade Vanilla Extract - The Good Stuff!

Making Pure Vanilla Extract
Where does Vanilla come from?
Vanilla pods are the seed pods of an orchid plant. 
Before the plant flowers, the pods are picked and cured until they become dark brown. 

This can take up to six months. Vanilla beans are sweet and perfumery with little "seeds" inside.  Some folks call it the "caviar".    They have a mild, kinda woodsy, unique flavor which gives vanilla extract a complexity and depth of flavor.   Who doesn't love Vanilla?


1 quart mason jar with lid
1 cup 80 Proof Vodka  (You can also use bourbon or rum - get creative!)
Vanilla Beans - 3 large vanilla beans minimum (The more beans used, the better the vanilla.  3 is the absolute minimum for 1 cup of extract.)
Split the beans with a sharp knife, scrape soft vanilla into the mason jar and then add the beans.                                        Pour the Vodka over the vanilla beans and give it a good shake.

    Store in a cool place for 3-6 months to allow the extraction to take place - remember to shake the extract once a week.
      You will be able to start using your extract in approximately 4-6 months  - the longer the better the extract becomes.
        Your vanilla will last for years – just keep topping it off with your base liquor as you use it. 

        Stir or shake it occasionally.

        Storing Vanilla Bean Pods

        Storing extra vanilla beans is easy.  You just need to keep them in an airtight container at room temperature. If stored in this manner, they should keep at least two years. 

        Do not store them in the refrigerator, as they tend to mold. 

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