Homemade Vanilla Extract

by Daisy

Hey Ive,

Oh no you didn’t re-use a disposable bottle of Stuff. Don’t you know how many meetings and memos and how much high technology went into preventing you from pulling a stunt like that? Stop it. Stop it right now.

And here I’ve been making vanilla extract, all innocent-like.

I have had one poor little vanilla bean languishing in my cupboard for way too long. It’s one of those things that is too expensive and too precious to use so, of course, I have been letting it wither away.

What I really want to do is MAXIMIZE THE BEAN, so I am making it into a whole 4 oz. of vanilla extract. And since I had to go to the liquor store for boxes for my solar dehydrator, I picked up a bottle of, ahem, lower-shelf brandy.

Here’s how to make the Vanilla Extract:

  1. Cut 2 vanilla beans in half, lengthwise. Chop them up.
  2. Combine the above product with 1/2 cup brandy and 1/4 cup water in a 1/2 pint mason jar.
  3. Set aside and allow to steep for at least three days.

Keeps for up to one year.

Okay, here’s what I actually did: After I split the bean open I scraped out the interior. It looks like dirt, but it is vanilla seeds, like you see in good vanilla ice cream. Then I chopped up the bean. Since I only had one bean I left out the water. I used the full 1/2 cup of brandy, though. It will probably be a little weak, vanilla-wise, but it will be good and likkery all the same.

I have to come up with a good recipe to try it out on. I will let you know how it turns out.



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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Joy November 30, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Did it work out ok? How is it price wise? Is it cheaper to buy it in the store?

Tomato Lady December 1, 2010 at 9:42 am

Joy–I love it. For me, it’s cost-efficient, because I have been known to re-use the bean for successive batches of extract–I just leave the bean in and keep adding brandy. I’ve never actually costed it out, but I get a lot of use out of one nice bean!

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