Homemade Vanilla Extract
During one long ago shopping trip, I found a ‘kit’ for making vanilla. I was used to making all kinds of things myself, but until then vanilla was not something I had considered.
Intrigued, I bought said ‘kit’ – which was just a stoppered bottle with a few vanilla beans inside, and instructions on the label explaining how to make vanilla.
Since then I always have a bottle of vanilla ‘brewing’ in a cupboard, and frequently make bottles to give away as gifts to my baking friends. A few months ago I made four bottles – one to keep and three to give away as Christmas gifts.
The instructions are simple and require only four things: a bottle, vanilla beans, vodka and time. Other types of alcohol, such as bourbon may be used in place of the vodka for a bit of variety.
3-4 vanilla beans
8 ounces vodka
Split the vanilla beans lengthwise and place in the jar or bottle. The beans may be split crosswise if necessary to fit into shorter jars or bottles.
Fill the bottle with vodka. A funnel or measuring cup with a pour spout helps here.
Seal the bottle tightly and leave in a cool, dark place for 2-3 months