Today's post is something simple, but still very wonderful. Monday I came down with a stomach bug and I'm struggling with it as I write this post. My little guy, Lucian, has been giving me hugs and kisses all day to make me feel better. He's the sweetest little boy ever.
I go through vanilla extract like there is no tomorrow especially since starting my baking blog. I quickly got tired of picking up a 10 dollar bottle of real vanilla extract every few weeks. I'm in the middle of my second bottle of homemade vanilla extract and thought I had better get started on making another bottle. It takes some time for the vanilla to infuse into the vodka. Some time being quite a few months. I would dare to say at least 6 months.
The most expensive part of this is the vanilla beans. It's best to try to find them online where you can buy them in bulk. I would not recommend buying them in the store at 7-10 dollars a pop. I bought mine from Olive Nation. I went with the ¼ lb. (about 27) of bourbon Madagascar vanilla beans for $18.95. My beans have always come vacuum packed and when I pull them out they are plump and juicy. I have to be honest though, the ones I used were the last of the bunch and after having them for ..about 9 months they are quite firm.
I slice my vanilla beans in half and then slit them down the middle. I scrape the pods out the best I can and shove them into the vodka. It's kind of a messy job, but it'll be worth it. I then shove the scraped pod into the bottle of vodka. As you can kind of tell by the picture, the vodka is already taking on a brown tinge of color. I shook up the bottle and then took the picture so I could show you all the little speckles of vanilla.
Also, I wanted to say that I don't think it matters what kind of vodka you use. In my opinion, the cheaper the vodka the better. I think this humongous 1.75 liters of vodka ended up costing me around 10 bucks.
Homemade Vanilla Extract
- 1.75 liters vodka
- 9 vanilla beans
- Open the vodka and remove the plastic pouring spout, if it has one.
- Cut the vanilla beans in half and then slice them down the middle to split them. Using a sharp knife, gently scrape the seeds out of the pods. Scrape the blade of the knife with the seeds on it onto the rim of the vodka.
- Once the vanilla pod is scraped clean, run it around the rim of the bottle to knock the seeds down. Continue to do this to the rest of the vanilla beans.
- Give the vodka a shake and store in a cool place. Let the vanilla beans infuse into the vodka for at least six months. Occasionally shake the bottle. When the extract is ready it will be a light brown and very fragrant.
(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)