Vanilla is the second most expensive spice with only saffron carrying a heftier price tag, yet vanilla is called for in most every baked good and dessert recipe. The vanilla bean is an orchid variety and are primarily grown in Madagascar. Pollinating and harvesting vanilla beans is a fine science and thus yield is not plentiful…and the price is reflective.
I buy a new bottle of vanilla extract every 6-8 weeks and spend roughly $9 for pure vanilla extract. Ouch! When Mo posted about making homemade vanilla extract with a link to Madagascar vanilla beans for a bargain on Amazon.com, I jumped on the ball!
Homemade Vanilla Extract from Mo
3+ vanilla beans for every 1 cup of vodka
Cut vanilla beans in half and then cut lengthwise to expose the fleshy insides and seeds. Submurge beans in vodka and store in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dry location. Let beans soak for 8-9 weeks or longer, shaking every so often.
You can double, triple, and quadruple the amount of vanilla extract so long as the ration of beans to vodka is 3:1!!
I have only had my beans soaking for a few days, so I can’t attest to taste, but the smells…ahhh! Vanilla beans put off such a wonderful aroma!
I plan to give vanilla extract away to kitchen dwelling friends and loved ones for the holidays. I’m excited! Eight weeks can’t come soon enough!!
Lisa who said: I would slice up lots of sweet potatoes!
Meredith who said: Homemade beet chips would be on my agenda with a mandolin like that! Paired with some yummy goat cheese for dipping. Yum!
Winners, congrats! Please email me your mailing addresses to PreventionRD@gmail.com and I will get those out to you ASAP!
Question: Do you fork over the big bucks for pure vanilla extract, or stick to imitation vanilla extract? Do you notice a difference in quality? Flavor? Scent?
Vanilla bean LOVE,