Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe
Good quality vanilla extract takes only minutes to make in your own kitchen and its flavor is unsurpassed. Use this homemade vanilla extract as you would any other commercial variety.
The official FDA formula for "Pure Vanilla Extract" calls for 13.35 oz. of vanilla beans per gallon of extract, and not less than 35% alcohol. We recommend using the cheapest store-brand vodka that is at least 70 proof (equivalent to 35% alcohol). That is because some of the more expensive vodkas add a little flavor to distinguish themselves, and you don't want that flavor to interfere with the vanilla flavor you are going to create.
For each quart of vodka, use 1/4 of the FDA amount, or a little less than 1/4 lb. of our Grade 1 extract-grade beans (see extract vanilla beans). Because these beans are quite a bit drier than the "gourmet"-grade beans, you may not be able to split them open to expose the seeds. That's okay - you can put them in the vodka whole, "as is," or you can chop or grind them first. We recommend using a coffee grinder, as opposed to a food processor - the blades are more suited to the coarseness of the beans.
Place the Amadeus vanilla beans in a 1 quart bottle with lid. Add the vodka and shake well. Store covered in a cool dark place for at least 4-6 weeks before using. Shake the bottle several times a week.
When your vanilla extract is ready, you can use a food colander or strainer to strain out the remaining bean residue. We have even had some clients use a ladies nylon stocking as a filter!
The extract should be stored at room temperature and, like fine wine, gets better the longer it sits.
Makes 1 quart.
Amadeus Vanilla Beans
7482 Denrock Avenue ~ Los Angeles, California 90045-1022 USA
310-670-9731 ~ Fax: 310-670-7542 ~ Email
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