"Easy to make and much cheaper. As you use it, top it off with more vodka." — GINGER P
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1 (750 milliliter) bottle
This is a good, basic recipe. Some tips to help you:
1. You can split new vanilla beans, but I just throw in used beans from other recipes. RINSE THEM FIRST and the end product will be the same.
2. Two vanilla beans is fine, but your desired flavor will develop over time. I just keep the beans in the liquid, using it as I go.
3. Mix up your liquor selection! I LOVE making vanilla extract out of bourbon for a richer flavor--it's great for fall recipes (pumpkin pie, apple crisp, etc).
4. This is a never-ending process. When your batch is at strength you like, decant most of the liquid into a separate bottle. Top off the original bottle with more liquor, and start the process over again.
The longer the beans steep, the better the vanilla will be. Two beans doesn't get much done, even in several weeks. I now use 5 beans (6" bourbon beans) for 2 cups of vodka, and let it steep for a full year (shaking it once a week), which seems kind of extreme, but is well worth the wait, since it gives a lot more body and flavor.
Based on some other reviewers' comments, I split 4 vanilla beans, cut them in 1/2" pieces, and using a well-cleaned out wine bottle for its dark colored glass, placed them in only a half-pint of vodka, and corked it for about 30 days. I shook the bottle up everyday to thoroughly distribute the vanilla seeds, then after 30 days strained it all through a coffee filter, and bottled them! It smells great and is a nice dark brown color. I also did the same thing with a half-pint of rum for a vanilla-rum extract. Wish I would have made more now. With these changes, this is a 5-star recipe and great little Christmas gifts! Thanks, Ginger.
I made this for myself and for friends as a Christmas gifts. It is the best. I used quite a few more beans (5 to 7) in 500 ml of vodka (the size of my bottles). Just keep refreshing the vodka as you use it. The cheapest place to find vanilla beans was on eBay. I got about 35 of them for under $10.00
Making your own vanilla is a great idea! A few tips; my mom has been making vanilla for over 20 years..it always turns out great. Her advice is to split the beans before putting them in the liquor to release the most flavor. A lot of people use vodka, mom has always used Brandy(J&B,not expensive)..the brandy gives a wonderful color and flavor. The vanilla really should be left alone for about 3 months(just give it a gentle shake every few weeks). This vanilla has always turned out very well,and is terrific to give as gifts.
I am so very greatful that you've solved the vanilla mystery, Ginger. (With that name, you were obviously born to be a foodie!!!) I will never buy vanilla again, and think of the joy in giving someone a gorgeously adorned BIG bottle of home-made, low-carb, organic-as-it-gets Vanilla!!!! I will have and share immense pleasure from this gift of your recipe. Merry Christmas to you!
I don't think two vanilla beans is enough. I have made this too, however I use six vanilla beans.
I was inspired to make this based on LadyJayPee's beautiful pictures. I agree that the amt. of vanilla bean be increased. I only had dark rum, and used 6 beans; 3 each of Tahitian and Mexican varieties. It smells and tastes wonderful, and is good quality vanilla for a fraction of the cost. Use only the freshest vanilla beans that are very pliable. Thanks for this cost-saving recipe.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Serving Size: 1/150 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 150
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 0
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