DIY Vanilla Extract

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Vanilla Extract

I’ve posted about making my own vanilla extract before.  I was just getting ready to start a new batch, so I thought I’d post a reminder.  This is so ridiculously easy, and you end up with a big, beautiful bottle of pure vanilla extract.

There are different methods of making vanilla extract.  I use the easiest (why are you not surprised?!).  I simply take two or three vanilla beans, slit them lengthwise, and put them in a dark bottle (Grolsch beer bottles are perfect – they are dark and have a ceramic stopper – consider this your permission to go buy some), top with some good quality vodka, seal and place in a dark pantry.  Some people say to shake it.  I don’t bother.  I leave it sit for about 2 months.  Some people strain it at this point.  I don’t bother straining.  I just leave the beans in there as I use the extract.  It just gets better and better.

Now, I have a cycle going.  As soon as my first bottle was ready (at the 2 month mark), I started a second bottle.  As I am using the first bottle, the second bottle is steeping.  By the time I have finished the first bottle, the second one is more than ready.  I begin using the second one, and taking the first empty bottle, begin another batch.  So, at any point in time, I have a bottle I am using and a bottle that is steeping.   I have been doing this for years. 

I just finished a bottle and was getting ready to start a new batch, and I thought….this would make a perfect Christmas gift.  Give it to the recipient, explain that all they have to do is stick it in their pantry for a couple of months, and then you can even explain the whole cycle thing to them if you want. 

Now, go make some vanilla extract!



This will be my entry for Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum!

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  1. leilani says

    Pam, I’m confused (not an unusual state of mine for me)– if you don’t like to bake, how do you use so much vanilla extract?

  2. says

    Why am I not surprised you make your own. I do too but double the amount of vanilla beans and as I’m using it, I top it off with more booze every once in a while and let it brew. I make one using vodka and 1 with bourbon…it’s kinda’ yummo!

  3. says

    My daughter’s going to love the kale pesto. Can’t wait to make it for her!

    Never have made my own vanilla extract…and I am a vanilla bean paste convert and use it for everything that calls for extract OR a vanilla bean. Sure looks easy though.

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