Saturday, July 11, 2009
How To Make Vanilla Extract
I brought back a lot of vanilla beans from the UAE with the intention of making vanilla extract for christmas gifts - LAST christmas. Oh, well. No time like the present.
I did lots of reading online and I know there are tons of tutorials for making vanilla extract out there in the blogosphere, but I thought I'd add mine anyhow.
Vodka or Dark Rum
Jars (any shape and size although the taller the better)
Very simple really, but what stumped me was the ratio of bean to alcohol. In my reading of other peoples experiences I found that the ratios varied from 1 bean per 1 cup of alcohol to 3-4 beans per cup. I decided that stronger was better since I wanted this extract to be the type where as it ran low you could top it off with more vodka or rum and it would last forever. Vanilla extract is definitely one of those 'gets better with time' types of products so I wanted mine to have some staying power. and be strong. I also read quite a bit about the benefits of vodka over rum or the other way around so I decided to make some of each. I'll have to let you know how it turns out but I don't think it's going to make a huge difference. My husband suggested using vanilla vodka to enhance everything, but I followed the advice to use the CHEAPEST vodka available ($11 for a half gallon), since it really does not matter.
OK, enough talk. here are some pictures of the process
slice them up
scrape the insides
and put both the bean and the flecks of vanilla (the good stuff) in the jars
then pour on the vodka! (or rum)
I'll post more pictures as it gets darker and darker and better and better. ~6 weeks until it's "done" enough to use. Just got to make sure to store it in a cool dark place, like uhh - your baking cabinet.