|Making Vanilla Extract|
How to make homemade Vanilla Extract
I mentioned a while back about buying some vanilla beans to make homemade vanilla extract and wanted to show you how easy it is to make. There are tons of blog posts out there with directions. Everyone’s directions are the same the only difference in my blog post is that I didn’t run out and buy expensive bottles for mine. I used what I had on hand.
Once I knew I was going to make this I started collecting small bottles when I went out to the thrift stores. And since I make jam I also had small canning jars on hand.
If you have been putting off making homemade vanilla extract because you don’t have cute little brown glass bottles don’t worry about it. Use what you have on hand. If I waited to do some of the things I want to do until I had exactly the “correct” supplies on hand I would never get to do anything.
Matter of fact you don’t even need small bottles you could just pour a bit of the vodka out of the bottle and put your vanilla beans in there. Then you can transfer the extract into smaller bottles for your own use or as gifts.
1 bottle of Vodka
small canning jars, recycled spice jars
I purchased my vanilla beans from VanillaProducts on ebay. Believe me I shopped around and this was the best price I found. I bought a 1/2 pound Gourmet A Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans.
With that purchase I also received 1/4 pound Tahitian Grade A Vanilla Beans free.
All together I got about 100 vanilla beans for $31 including shipping. A very good buy I think.
To make homemade vanilla extract you simply put a couple of vanilla beans in a glass jar and pour vodka over it. Let this cure for about 6 weeks or longer. The more beans you add the stronger your vanilla will be. For the small recycled spice jars I used two beans. Before putting the beans in each glass container cut the bean in half and slice the bean up the middle almost to the tip. The vodka will infuse with the vanilla bean goodness and in minutes you will see the vodka turning a soft brown color.
For the half pint canning jars I use three or four beans. Some of my jars contain other spices. I decided to try and come up with my own vanilla blends.
I made one vanilla cinnamon extract by placing a couple of split vanilla beans in the jar with a cinnamon stick I broke in half.
I made one vanilla, orange and cinnamon extract by adding vanilla beans, orange zest and a cinnamon stick.
And I made a one jar of vanilla and orange by placing a couple of vanilla beans and orange zest in a half pint jar. I’ll be interested to see how these blended extracts turn out.
Put your jars in a cool dark cabinet and let them do their magic. Every week take each jar out and give it a shake. My cabinet has a lovely vanilla scent now. Each time I open the door a yummy rush of vanilla flows over me.
Have fun making your own extracts. It’s very easy and fun to experiment!