I’ve been saying I wanted to make my own vanilla extract for nearly a year. Yesterday I went to my favorite foodie haven at the How To Cook store and bought 6 really fresh vanilla beans. I’m told that vanilla grows locally but I suspect locally means anywhere in Queensland – probably way up at the top end. I’ll have to find out where it’s grown. I’d love to visit.
I suppose it’s not going to be like Mexican or Madagascan vanilla but the beans smelled divine to me as I gently cut each one and scraped their seedy bits into a big jar of plain vodka. Once I finished the scraping, I cut the beans in half and popped them in the jar. I put the top on and shook it to loosen up the seeds and the beans to release all their vanilla.
This is a photo of day one. I only have to wait six more weeks and then I’ll post another photo and the tasting results. I can’t wait. I finished some really wonderful Mexican vanilla recently and all I’ve had is the grocery store stuff and that’s never good enough for me. Have you made your own vanilla? It certainly doesn’t take a culinary degree to add beans to vodka. heh… I kept t hinking there must be something else I should do but everything I read said cut beans, scrape seeds, place in vodka, shake, place in the dark.
I’ve tucked the jar in my desk drawer so it will stay relatively cool and dark. I have the air conditioner on most of the time in here. (it IS summer down under)
You’ll have to come over for a taste so by the time you make all your plans, the vanilla will be ready to use.
- Enough soft supple vanilla beans to have 5 beans per cup of vodka
- You can chop the beans, split the beans or scrape the beans and toss in the vodka.
- Shake the bottle a couple of times a day during the first couple of weeks
- You can use it in about 6-8 weeks but it's much better if you let it age for 6 months or more.
- Perfect for gift giving and so easy to make.