A couple of months back, I stumbled upon a hidden treasure tucked away in my kitchen cabinet – a packet of vanilla beans bought during our honeymoon trip in Reunion. I’ve always wanted to make homemade vanilla extract and when I finally laid my hands on the beautiful pods of vanilla (which is quite costly, by the way), I didn’t know how to proceed. So, there sat the pods untouched for 2 years.
As the new year just around the corner, I made it a priority to put the vanilla pods to some use. So, I started browsing for homemade vanilla extract recipes. When I looked into it with a little more attention, I realized making your own extract could not be simpler. All I needed in addition to the vanilla pods is a bottle of vodka. And some patience for the 2-month wait for the vanilla extract to be ready for use!
- vanilla pods
- glass jar with tight fitting lid
- sharp knife
- Sterilize the jar, lid and knife before using.
- Using a sharp knife, cut lengthwise down the center of the vanilla beans, leaving about an inch at the top of the bean uncut.
- Tuck the beans in the jar and cover the beans completely with vodka.
- Tightly cover the jar and give it a good shake.
- Place the jar in a cool dark cabinet. Let the jar rest in there for 2 months.
- Give the bottle a good shake every week or so. The mixture will get darker and darker over time.
The sunset effect happens as soon as the pods hit the vodka and after a good shake, the soft hue dissipates slowly into the mixture. And for the rest of the day, my hands smelt of the divine-vanilla-scent. I am so in love with my homemade vanilla extract. Can’t wait to use it for my baking!