Homemade always wins and once you have a bottle of Homemade Vanilla Extract on the go, chances are you will never want to buy it from the shops again. And since the beans are so expensive you have to treat them right and extract all the value you can.

I have 2 bottles on the go. In the one I store all the whole beans that I have bought. I would fill a bottle up to about half with rum or vodka and stash the whole beans in the bottle. This method keeps the beans plump with no chance of drying out while yielding extract to use in my baking.
And then to get the maximum use out of the beans, I have another bottle on the go. Once I have split a bean and scraped out the seeds I place the used pod in a jar or bottle that has been filled with rum to extract the last bits of flavour. And as I use this extract I top it up with rum from the first bottle to add a boost of flavour while continuing to add more and more used pods. Store both bottles in a dark cupboard while the flavour improve as it stands and you will see the liquid get darker and darker over time.

It becomes a process of repetition, adding new whole beans and adding more vodka or rum and for the other bottle adding more used beans and topping up with vodka or rum. This is also a sure way of making sure you never run out of vanilla extract. The longer you let the vanilla beans sit in the vodka, the better and stronger the flavour so let it stand for at least 6 – 8 weeks, giving it a shake once in a while. The more beans in the bottle, the quicker the extract will mature and be ready to use.

Of course, if you used a bean in a cream or milk for a custard or similar, you can not add that to your bottle of extract and would have to discard the pod after using.

I hope you enjoy this recipe for Homemade Vanilla Extract If you’ve made it, share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram with the hashtag #heinstirred. It is always a treat to see the recipes made and enjoyed.

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