My baby is sleeping, in a cool, dark place.
I bathed him with great tenderness, soaking him while humming quietly, a smile on my face. He smelled so sweet (don't they always?), I almost couldn't close the door and leave. All I have to do now is check on him every once in while to make sure everything is ok, perhaps give him a little shake. And wait patiently until he is ready.
It has been a week already, only about 7 more to go.
I did it, I finally made my own vanilla extract, and now that I did it, I am wondering why I waited so long. It is so basic, so quick and easy that the idea of going out to buy it seems ridiculous now.
Ok, so it isn't ready yet and I probably shouldn't boast, but when you follow this girl's directions you can't really go wrong, can you?
So, while some people make their own because they want to use their truly exceptional vanilla beans instead of the sometimes mediocre quality of store bought extract, for me it was more a matter of convenience. That dark nectar is pretty hard to find here and the little glass bottle I brought back from the States at the beginning of the year is long gone.
All you need is a mason jar or even a plain old jam or mustard jar, a bottle of liquor with about 40% alcohol and of course vanilla beans. This 'recipe' does not include sugar because honestly, a teaspoon of extract with or without it will not noticeably change the level of sweetness of what you are baking. The best part is that this baby is pretty low maintenance: you just top the jar off when needed with a little extra booze. Last but not least, it makes a great gift, that is if you are organized enough to start prepping a few months ahead.
Although vodka is more commonly used to make extract because it is flavorless, Clotilde suggests using rum. And who can resist the heavenly combination of vanilla and rum? I can't, so that is what I used.
2 to 3 vanilla beans
2 to 3 vanilla beans
1 cup rum (or other liquor)
Clean your jar well, fill with boiling water and let sit for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, slice open your vanilla beans lengthwise to expose the seeds and then fit them into the jar (after pouring out the water). Cover completely with the rum, tightly close the lid, shake a couple of times and store in a dark, cool place to rest for about 8 weeks. Give it a shake every now and then. When it is ready, the liquid will have turned dark. Keep topping it off, possibly with the same liquor and add in a new pod (making sure you take an older one out) every now and then if you have an empty one lying around. Follow this simple procedure and you will have an endless supply of extract.