I LOVE vanilla extract. I use it in pretty much everything I bake. EVERYTHING! People often ask why I make my own real extract. Using the finest ingredients is a core value in my baking. I discovered that by making my own extract instead of using imitation, I saved money and controlled the flavor profile. The biggest win was the exceptional quality of my extract and it has no additives. A win-win! Making your own vanilla extract is so easy. All you need is a glass container with a tight-fitting lid, vodka, and vanilla beans.
There are different types of vanilla beans such as Tahitian, Madagascar, Mexican, and Indian. All have their own unique flavor. Buy what you like! I love the floral overtones the Tahitian beans offer but many like the rich, creamy flavor of the Madagascar beans. There is no wrong choice. I promise.
Buy your vanilla beans from a reputable dealer. The beans should be supple, pliable, and fresh. I’ve found it best to buy my beans online from a company that specializes in vanilla beans. The beans I’ve found in the spice section at the grocery are dry and brittle…not at all what you want.
https://www.slofoodgroup.com/products/grade-b-vanilla-tahitiThere are two grades of vanilla beans, A and B. A beans are more expensive and mostly used for cooking and or pastry. B beans are what you want. They are considered an extract grade. They may vary in size but are less expensive and are recommended for making extract. I buy my beans from Slo Food Group. I only accept affiliate relationships with purveyors I actually use and Slo Food is on the top of my list. For all of my lovely and talented followers, use Minette5 to receive 5% off your next Slo Food order.
As for vodka, save your top shelf for a martini and use any basic vodka. I buy what is on sale at my local liquor store.Print
- Wash and dry your bottle.
- Cut vanilla beans into ½” or ¼” pieces and place in bottle.
- Pour vodka over the vanilla beans.
- Tightly close the cap and shake vigorously.
- Place in a dark cool place and shake the bottle once or twice a week.
- Let mature for at least 90 days. The longer the better.
This recipe can be doubled or cut in half.
Vodka is my choice because it is a neutral base and allows the vanilla flavor to shine through. Rum, Brand, or bourbon that is 70% can also be used.
I buy my beans from slofoodgroup.com. I’ve always been pleased with their beans and customer service.