Well three months ago I made my first batch of homemade vanilla! I had been seeing recipes on the various blogs I follow for nearly a year....and I finally had the resources to start my first batch!
Now....for the new recipe! One of the rather daunting things for me about making this vanilla was finding vanilla beans that I could afford, that were good quality and would make the amount of vanilla that was required in my recipe....my recipe calls for 3/4 of a pound of beans! And when you go shopping the recommended beans are quite expensive! Another issue that I thought of...the normal person that cooks is not going to be able to use a GALLON of vanilla very quickly! I mean seriously....even me, a person that makes most things from scratch and cooks on a daily basis doesn't use that much vanilla in a year. The only reason I was willing to make this much was because I know I will be using it for Christmas gifts!
BUT I was reading the Ma/June 2011 issue of Cooking with Paula Deen...and looky what I found!
The same recipe cut down to just a cup of vodka and 2 or 3 vanilla beans!!! Woo Hoo...I was excited! It just never occurred to me to cut the recipe down to a more workable size! And that other up side...you can buy 2 or 3 of the REALLY good vanilla beans for a WHOLE lot less than you can buy 50 or so that the big recipe calls for!
The only real difference that I saw in Paula's recipe was that mine recommend the vanilla stay in a cool dark place for 6 months....hers says 2! Basically everyone says something different....and the truth of the matter is...the longer the beans stay in the vodka...the better and stronger your vanilla is gonna be! And even with this recipe you would have enough to share with a friend!!! So if you weren't to keen on the whole gallon of vanilla thing and just want to experiment before you commit yourself... try the following recipe!!!
Homemade Vanilla Extract
1 cup vodka (remember it can be the cheap stuff)
2 to 3 vanilla beans, split lengthwise (leave about 1/2" at top so bean stays together)
In a clean glass bottle or jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine vodka and vanilla beans. Seal and place in a cool dark place for at least 2 months before use.
Credit-May/June 2011 issue Cooking with Paula Deen
MMmmm...I am wondering if there are other extracts you can make homemade...gonna have to do some research! Anyone have any recipes???