Homemade vanilla extract method with step by step photos – a diy post on how to make vanilla extract at home.
Making vanilla extract at home is very easy and you just need two ingredients:
- Vanilla beans
- Alcohol like vokda, rum or brandy
Living in India, its difficult to get pure vanilla extract. Usually I would buy organic vanilla beans or vanilla powder from super stores and add them to my bakes. Then my sis gifted me a really good pure vanilla extract which came all the way from united states. One whiff and it was so good. So when this bottle got over, I decided to make vanilla extract at home. Since vanilla beans are easily available both in superstores as well as online, I started making vanilla extract at home.
The method to make vanilla extract was mentioned in booklet that I got with the vanilla beans. So I followed the method from there and just reduced the amount of alcohol.
The quality and flavor of the vanilla extract largely depends on the type of vanilla beans you buy. i used prime beans which are also called as gourmet or grade A vanilla beans. These were vanilla beans from god’s own country – Kerala.
For the liquor, you can use vodka, rum or brandy. I used vodka. After a month or so, you can start adding this homemade vanilla extract to your baking or ice cream recipes.
The more you keep longer, the better and potent the flavors become. The vanilla beans continue to flavor the liquor, even after you start using the extract. So just make sure that the beans are always submerged inside the liquor. I kept this extract for more than 5 months instead of one month.
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- 4 to 5 vanilla beans
- ¾ cup vodka (187.5 ml or 6.4 ounces or 0.4 pint)
- a clean glass bottle or jar
- You will need 4 to 5 vanilla beans, 3/4 cup vodka (7.6 ounces or 1/2 pint) and a glass jar or bottle
- Now slit the vanilla beans and halve them into two using a knife. You can also slit and then chop them in small sticks.
- Add them to a clean glass jar/bottle and then pour vodka. Shake the jar lightly. The vanilla beans needs to completely immersed in the vodka. Keep in a cool dry place.
- Once in a week shake the jar and allow the vanilla beans to steep in the vodka for at least a month. The more you keep longer, the better and potent the flavors will be.
- After the time period, you can also strain the extract. The vanilla beans can be pat dried and then added to a sugar jar or container to get vanilla flavored sugar.
- After a period of time, you will see the transparency of vodka changes to a deep dark brown color. Then add the homemade vanilla extract as required to your bakes and desserts. You can keep the extract at room temperature.
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How to make vanilla extract
1. You will need 4 to 5 vanilla beans, ¾ cup vodka (6.4 ounces or 0.4 pint) and a glass jar or bottle.
2. On a cutting board, slit the vanilla beans into two, if you are using a small jar like me.
3. You can also slit and then chop them in small sticks.
4. Add the vanilla beans to a clean glass jar/bottle. Also scrape off the vanilla seed from the cutting board and add to the jar. Then pour vodka. Shake the jar lightly. The vanilla beans needs to completely immersed in the vodka. Keep in a cool dry place at room temperature.
5. Once in a week shake the jar and allow the vanilla beans to steep in the vodka for at least a month. So that the alcohol extracts the flavors from the vanilla beans.
6. This batch, I kept for more than 5 months. After the time period, you can also strain the extract. The vanilla beans can be pat dried and then added to a sugar jar/container to get Vanilla flavored sugar. I do not strain the extract.
7. after a period of time, you will see the transparency of vodka (see above pic) changes to a deep dark brown color (below pic). Then add this Real homemade vanilla extract as required to your bakes and desserts. You can keep the vanilla extract at room temperature.