1 cup (8 oz) vodka, bourbon or Everclear
3-4 vanilla beans
clear glass* jar
Slice Vanilla beans in half lengthwise. Place them in an empty 8 oz or larger glass jar.*You have to use glass with this. The liquor will corrode plastic or metal. Pour alcohol over the beans. Close jar tightly and give a good shake. You should be able to see the bean pods begin to dispurse throughout the liquid. Continue to shake jar daily (or as often as you can remember) for 4-6 weeks. After that time you may use the extract for cooking/baking purposes just as you would a store-bought extract. All you have to do is run it through a coffee filter to remove the beans and pods. You can then transfer your extract into smaller containers if you want to share, which is what I plan to do. Of course, you can let your extract sit indefinitely; the longer it sits the stronger/better it gets. Due to the alcohol content, it shouldn't ever go bad.
|all you need|
NotesI used a homemade everclear (moonshine) that was given to me (original source unknown) for my recipe but any of the above alcohols will make a wonderful extract-so I'm told. I made mine with 5 vanilla beans and 12 oz of alcohol which is exactly the amount of moonshine I had. The vanilla beans I used were from Mountain Rose Herbs. They cost $9.00 for 9 beans or 1 oz. They are organic, sustainably raised and harvested and are about twice the size as the ones you buy in the grocery store. I absolutely love them.
5 bucks for 2 oz of commercially bottled vanilla extract that may or may not be made from real vanilla beans or 5 bucks for 12 oz of homemade and organic vanilla extract? I will take number two please.