Wednesday, March 6, 2013

DiY- Homemade Pure Vanilla Extract

A couple of years ago, my good friend Kim gave me some homemade pure vanilla extract for my birthday. I had no idea that you could make your own!
I mean, most things you can make yourself, but I just never thought about making this myself. Instead, I either bought the super expensive pure vanilla from the store or the cheap, fake stuff (depending on our finances at the time).
When I had finally used all of the batch that she made for me, even then, I still bought the expensive stuff from the store because one of the main ingredients in this recipe is something that we don't typically have on hand.
You can either use vodka (which is what my first batch was made from) or Bourbon. I ran out of vanilla recently and remembered that my husband had won a bottle of Bourbon at a company Christmas party. Woo Hoo, homemade vanilla here I come!

You literally just need these items:
Homemade Pure Vanilla Extract
Vodka or Bourbon
3-6 vanilla beans
glass bottle with tight fitting lid

I had an inquiry about how much vodka/bourbon to use. Great question! It really isn't as much about how much vodka/bourbon to use as it is about how many vanilla beans to use.
For the bottle I used, which is probably about 8oz, I used 4 vanilla beans. After placing the vanilla beans in the bottle, you simply pour your vodka/bourbon over them, into the bottle, either almost filling up your bottle or at least covering the the tops of your vanilla beans.
If you want to use a larger bottle and make lots of vanilla, then you will need to use more vanilla beans. Hope this helps!

Pour your vodka or bourbon in your bottle and then place your vanilla beans inside.
The next stop is the hardest one.

Then WAIT!
You will need to set your bottle in a cool, dark place and let us sit for about 2 months before using it. After 2 months, you will have some delicious pure vanilla for all your baking needs, that you made yourself!
And it will last a LONG time, unless you bake a lot. ;)
Most recipes call for using vodka, but I thought I would give Bourbon a try. I think it will give it a really nice, rich flavor. I can't wait to try it.
I'll let you know how it turns out in about 2 months. :)

*I recently read that once your vanilla is done and you begin using it, that you can pour more vodka/bourbon into your bottle as you use it. Not sure, because I have not done this, but I might give it a try this time.


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