I always wanted to have a homemade vanilla extract. It has only 2 ingredients and is all natural, no chemicals at all. I found so many recipes on the net about the process and all of them had lots of vanilla beans. In my country vanilla beans are very expensive so buying 8 or 10 for a recipe which I wasn’t sure will work wasn’t an option.
So I decided to do a recipe with only 2 vanilla beans. Now I know is working and next time I can use more vanilla beans.
The recipe is easy but takes 6 months, so patience is a must.
You can use any vanilla beans you can find and any Vodka you like. My advice is to use quality vodka so you have a quality extract in the end. I used vodka because has a neutral flavor, but you can use bourbon, brandy or rum for a unique extract.
A 40% alcohol vodka will work just fine.
- 2 vanilla beans
- 67 ml Vodka
Split each vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Chop the beans into smaller pieces. It will fit better in the bottle.
Place the vanilla beans in a clean bottle. Cover them with alcohol, making sure they are completely submerged. Give the bottle a good shake.
Store the bottle in a cool, dark place and for a month shake it every day. If you forget a day is not a problem. Just shake it when you remember.
After 6 months you have your own homemade vanilla extract. You can start using it after 3 months but the flavor is not very strong. You will get more a vodka flavor than a vanilla one.
You can remove the vanilla pods and decant the extract into a pretty bottle or you can leave the beans in the alcohol and top off the bottle as you use the extract. Eventually all the flavor will be extracted from the original vanilla beans, so you can periodically add fresh beans as well as used ones for other recipes.