Homemade vanilla extract is undoubtedly one of the most used ingredients in my kitchen and I am an unconditional lover of such precious ingredients. I always recommend using pure extract because the aroma and flavor it gives to desserts has nothing to do with using an aroma or a flavoring.
It is true that it is an ingredient that is not cheap, and that's why I have been making my own homemade vanilla extract for a while now. I've been making this recipe for almost a year. I brought the vanilla pods from the United States and I did it on the way back after having seen the recipe to Zöe Francois, an American pastry chef whom I have followed for a long time and of whom I have already told you on more than one occasion.
This rich vanilla extract that is infinitely cheaper than the one purchased and that is also a perfect gift to take to your host in an Ena or to give at Christmas to all those people who love to cook at home. It is a very easy recipe for which the only indispensable thing is patience, since we need a rest of about 3 months to obtain the essence.
The advantage is that we can refill the bottle as we use it. I make a big one and a small one normally, although if it is to give away it is better to make several small bottles and so we have them ready to give. The ideal is also to make labels like these that I have made.
The proportion is 250 ml of alcohol for every 6 vanilla pods but if we put a few more we can use the extract before and it will give an incredible flavor to our sweet recipes and our cocktails
We need a high-proof alcohol. We can use rum or bourbon but in that case we will add more flavor to the vanilla. In Tahiti I was taught that they do it with rum but the taste is much sweeter and I prefer vodka which has a flatter flavor and does not alter that of vanilla).
You have to use glass jars. We can reuse any that we have at home. You just have to clean it well and sterilize it before using them.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that you have to cover the vanilla pods completely with alcohol so that no bacteria attack them so that the vodka or rum or alcohol you choose covers them completely and protects them. You have to turn the pot every two or three days so that the vanilla moves well and release its essence, but always without opening it before 6 weeks.
Basically, there are three areas where vanilla comes from: Madagascar, Tahiti and México.La vanilla of Tahiti is more floral that of Madagascar (which is my favorite) is creamier.
For a small amount
- 6 Vanilla pods
- 250 ml Vodka
For a large bottle
- 24 pods
- 1 liter of vodka
Open the vanilla pods and scrape them. We can scrape the pod inside the glass bottle that we are going to use and also introduce the scraped pod. It is important to scrape them so that the oils and seeds that have the pods inside, are released and then we have a vanilla extract with all its aroma and flavor.
With the help of a funnel, fill the bottle with the vodka. Close and shake hard to help the oils in the pulp mix with the alcohol
Once every two days, shake the extract well to break the pulp and distribute the seeds in the vodka.
After a week, the extract will begin to darken and develop some flavor. After 8-10 weeks, you can use the extract. Of course you can use it almost from week 5 but the flavor will have a lot of alcohol and the color will be very clear
The extract has no expiration date, so we can fill the bottle with more pods and more alcohol. As we use vanilla, we can add more vodka and more vanilla pods to fill the bottle.
Refilling the bottle as you use it, the extract can be stored indefinitely and with the passage of months / years it will continue to improve.