Do you ever get tired of buying those expensive tiny little bottles of pure vanilla extract? I did. So I did some online searching and discovered just how easy and inexpensive it was to make large amounts of vanilla at home. I haven’t looked back since.
It’s amazingly simple to do. All you need is an inexpensive bottle of vodka, some fresh vanilla beans and time for it to sit. Online sources vary widely in the bean/vodka ratio to use but I have found somewhere in the middle works for me. You can always add more beans if you want to but whatever you do – don’t buy the overpriced container of just a few beans in the grocery store. Order bulk vanilla beans online- that way you get enough to do a couple of batches or have some extra for baking or making things like vanilla sugar or oil. From my experience a 1/4 pound package of vanilla beans will get you around 25 beans. You can also save any extra vodka to make this awesome pie crust featured in this recipe.
Note****this also makes a great gift idea for a baker you know. Just get some cute inexpensive little bottles and give as a gift!
- 750 ml bottle of vodka
- 9 or 10 vanilla beans
- Cut vanilla beans in half lengthwise starting about one inch from the top all the way to the bottom. (you just want it attached at the top)
- Pour out a couple of ounces of the vodka to make room for the vanilla beans and drop in vanilla beans
- Alternately, if you don't want vodka bottles around, place vanilla beans in a quart size or larger canning jar and pour vodka in to cover beans.
- Close jar/bottle tightly and allow to sit for at least 8 weeks, preferably 12 weeks, in a cool place. Give it a good shake once a week.
- Many sources say you can add more vodka as you use it. I have done this but I tend to start up another bottle to brew once I begin using a new batch of vanilla. The longer it sits the better flavor you will have.
- I have also used the large 1.75 liter bottles and just put in around 20 vanilla beans. I save any extra vodka to make my favorite pie crust featured in this recipe.