Okay, so nothing new here. Vanilla extract made at home is easy and I finally got around to trying it out. I’d all the plans to make this before I bought my new computer and then never transferred my information and links over from my laptop. I was inspired by my best friend Paxye who has made vanilla extract a couple times now and a blog called Mike’s Table I saw on Food Gawker way back when. He provided more than just the how with a little bit of why

A whole heck of a lot of vanilla beans

Mike suggests that in order to meet the FDA standard of vanilla extract strength you need to add 6 beans per cup of alcohol. He suggests that vodka is the most suitable choice of alcohol to best showcase the vanilla flavour. My favourite part of his post though is his recommending treating the extract as your vanilla compost. Anytime you use vanilla bean in your baking or cooking to throw the leftovers in the extract. Occasionally you can top up the used extract with more alcohol to ensure it never goes dry.

Lily helping

I bought my vanilla beans from¬†The Organic Vanilla Bean Company who offer great quality beans at even greater prices. Even with my new big pile of beans I decided to try only two cups worth of extract for a first try. I can’t wait to try it out in a couple months!

Ready for vodka

  • 6-8 Vanilla Beans (bourbon, tahitian or a mixture of both)
  • 1 cup Vodka
  1. Slit vanilla beans open. Scrape (or not) the bean’s contents out and put both parts in the jar.
  2. Add vodka and seal the jar with a good lid. Shake every day or so for about 30 seconds.
  3. Let sit in a cool dark place for 2 months before use.

Two months and then it's done.

6 Responses to Home Made Vanilla Extract

  1. Debbie says:

    Yum! We plan on making this over the holidays. I’m just about out of my “store bought” stuff and figured it would be a good time to give it a go. Can’t wait to hear how yours turns out. -Debbie

  2. Kyrie says:

    My dad always made his own vanilla extract when I was a kid, yet I’ve never thought to try it out myself. Hm.

    And totally off-topic, I had a dream the other night that we came to visit you…we took a plane that landed in a parking lot behind your house (?) and you greeted us all with complaints about the noise from the cars on the road below your house (but not the noise from the jet in your backyard). Several other GPer’s were there too, and we all stayed in your apartment building (because your house was the whole building). Weird.

  3. I’ve wanted to do this ever since Paxye mentioned it on her blog. We have quite the backlog of vanilla in AB and it hardly seems worth it to try it over here. Maybe in our new destination…. if we ever move! In the meantime I hope you enjoy yours.

  4. paxye says:

    You are going to love it!! It is so good and the flavour is much more intense than the store bought stuff…

    Using it as a compost for beans will allow you to use it sooner… After 6 weeks, mine was pretty much good to go, though as time goes on the flavour just intensifies…

  5. Kathy says:

    I made some a few weeks ago to test and have since run out of my store bought stock. So I cheated and started using mine after 2 weeks and maybe it is not not as mature as it could be however meringues, holiday cookies and icings are coming out just fine. I’m on the search for the perfect gift bottle, everyone is getting some for the hoidays! Imitation Vanilla no more! Thanks for the tip to find more quality beans at good price. This is so easy I feel silly I never did it before.

  6. Annie says:

    Debbie- maybe I should do a vanilla bean giveaway! I have so many

    Oh Kyrie! That’s hilarious. We don’t have much room for a parking lot or a busy road here. We have a forest behind us and one street between us and the ocean! Sounds like it was great fun- apart from the noise of course!

    That’s so great to hear, Kathy that you could use it sooner. I might run out of bought vanilla before the two months so maybe I’ll try!

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