Since you are reading BFB there is a good chance you have used vanilla at some point in your life. It may have been a whole vanilla bean pod to make vanilla bean ice cream, regular vanilla extract in a cake, or clear imitation vanilla for a frosting.
Have you ever stopped to wonder how a vanilla bean went from that long stringy pod to a liquid extract?
If not, don’t worry! Making vanilla isn’t thought of much these days. Thanks to grocery stores and kitchen stores we can buy many different varieties of in one place.
Lately, I’ve been wondering about making my own vanilla. I wasn’t sure about how hard it was going to be, how long it would take, if it would work…I had so many questions! Thanks to Google all my questions were answered.
Q 1: Is making your own vanilla difficult?
A: Not at all! All you need is some sort of liquor (rum, vodka, or bourbon), vanilla bean pods*, and a small jar.
Q 2: How long does making your own vanilla extract take?
A: Only a few short months! The prep work is the hardest part, and it’s not even hard. Simply cut the vanilla bean pod in half (lengthwise), place in the small jar, pour about 1/3 liquor per bean into the jar, and shake. Then let it sit in a cool dark place for about 2 months. You need to shake the jar ever week.
Q 3: How hard is making your own vanilla?
A: As you can see in the previous question, not hard at all! The hardest part is waiting for your homemade vanilla to be finished.
*There are many types of vanilla beans on the market (Madagascar, Tahitian & Mexican). The only ones available at my store were from Madagascar, but you can use what ever you can find/prefer.
Homemade vanilla would be a cute homemade present for a fellow baker. I am thinking about making some organic homemade vanilla for a giveaway, what anyone be interested??
How to Make Vanilla Extract:
- 2 vanilla bean pods, preferably organic
- 2/3 cup liquor (vodka, rum, or bourbon will work)*
- 1 small jar
To Make the Extract:
- Cut the vanilla bean pods lengthwise, and place in the small jar.
- Pour the liquor over the beans, seal the jar and shake.
- Leave the jar in a cool, dark cabinet for about 2 months. The extract will be very dark when it is done!
- Portion out the vanilla into smaller jars and give away as a homemade present, or just keep it and you’ll never have to buy vanilla again!
*It is about 1/3 cup of liquor to vanilla bean pod, so if you wish to make a large amount of vanilla extract with something like 4 vanilla beans, use 1 1/3 cup liquor. I imagine it would take a bit longer for a larger amount of vanilla extract to reach it’s full potential, start checking towards the end of the second month. Don’t be surprised if it takes closer to 3 months for your vanilla to be ready to use!