Homemade Vanilla Extract

For years I have been wanting to make homemade vanilla extract.  I never got around to ordering the Madagascar Vanilla pods that are highly suggested to be used in all the recipes.  Maybe I thought they were too expensive and I couldn't rationalize paying shipping on top of it.  Anyway, I put it on my wish list of things to do and forgot about it.

Saturday I visited a new favorite spice store.  This place smells wonderful before you even step in the door.  What do you know, they had a jar of fresh Madagascar pods sitting on the shelf behind the register.  I bought 5.

I have never purchased fresh vanilla beans before and wasn't prepared for the overwhelming wonderful smell they emit. Of course it smells of vanilla but this was so pure and fresh.

If we had smell-a-net right now, your nose would be glued to the screen.  I started with 5 beans.

I took some bottom shelf vodka (from what I have read, vodka does not interfer with the flavor of the vanilla.  You can use rum or bourbon should you choose.)  You may notice that the end result is not in this canning jar.  I decided to go with smaller jars after I took this picture.
Begin by slicing open the beans.  You will need 5 beans for 1 cup of vodka.
Sealed the jars and set them on a shelf in my basement.  Now the waiting begins.  Once a week, I need to flip the jars and at the end of 8 weeks, the homemade Vanilla Extract will be ready to be used.
I have read that you can replenish the amount that you use with more vodka.  I will keep you updated on the progress of the vanilla extract over the next 8 weeks.

1 Response
  1. Peggi Says:

    I just ordered beans to make vanilla. I read that once the vanilla bean is used for making vanilla it loses its flavor. They said you can sometimes get a second batch but not always. They also said continuing to add vodka doesn't work because the bean has lost its flavor. Can hardly wait til my beans get here to start the process.

I would love to hear from you!