This week’s question comes from Carri.
Do you make your own vanilla extract? How?
Carri, I do make my own extracts. It’s a simple, quick process that saves a lot of money. Because we are gluten-free, I use either a triple-distilled vodka or a potato vodka. The triple-distilled is cheaper but the potato vodka is an extra measure of safety, especially if you’re highly gluten-sensitive.
I start a batch of vanilla extract and then keep the bottle topped off. I’ve been able to stretch two beans into a quart of vodka or more this way. This becomes highly economical as I can produce a quart of vanilla extract for about the cost of one 8-ounce bottle in the store. If you can use any vodka, you can make it considerably cheaper.
Some people instead choose to use up all of the alcohol and then put another two cups in and allow it to soak for two or three months. Since it takes me several months to go through a quart, the regular topping off works well for me because the beans have a long period of time to soak.
From the Often Used Recipes eBook
Hands-on: 10 minutes
Hands-off: 6 or more weeks
2 vanilla beans
1-2 cups vodka
Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, and cut each piece into 2-3 pieces. Place in a small mason jar. Add the vodka to cover. Allow to sit, shaking occasionally, for 6 weeks. Vanilla is now ready for use, you do not have to remove the beans as long as they stay submerged in the vodka.
As you use the extract, add more vodka to the bottle until you notice the strength of the flavor is beginning to diminish. Then use up what you have and start over again.
This post is part of Make Your Own Monday.