Make Your Own Vanilla Bean Extract!!!

Homemade Pure Vanilla Extract Recipe
This is REALLY happening!  (I'm so easily entertained)...

This is REALLY happening!
(I’m so easily entertained)…

Single Fold Pure Vanilla Extract Recipe

– 4 to 6 medium vanilla beans
– 1 cup vodka or rum, brandy, or bourbon (needs to be at least 40% alcohol)

Double Fold Pure Vanilla Extract Recipe
– 8 to 12 medium vanilla beans
– 1 cup vodka or rum, brandy, or bourbon (needs to be at least 40% alcohol)

Single Fold Pure Vanilla Extract is what you typically purchase in most retail stores.  The average home uses Single Fold Vanilla Extract. This is your regular vanilla extract.

Double Fold Pure Vanilla Extract is just what it says it is. It’s double the vanilla beans ratio per cup of alcohol. Most professional bakers use Double Fold Vanilla Extract. It is much more concentrated vanilla, and you simply use less when adding it to a recipe. Some may prefer this, as the vanilla/alcohol ratio leans more in favor of the vanilla, however the price is considerably more… but you use half as much. So, I suppose it works itself out in the long run, either way.

Note: The Grebe and I (the loon) will be making both. We are making huge batches too! I just can’t wait to see how it all turns out.  (We’re starting with our Single Fold, because the rest of my Vanilla Beans haven’t arrived yet).

FYI – I plan to do a “financial break down” blog before our vanilla has completely cured, and we are ready to package them as gifts. I am doing all my pricing, and price hunting to find the best deals I can provide you with… and then I will let you know the breakdown cost to make the vanilla… how much we were able to produce… the cost of packaging… so on and so fort… and ultimately, how much each “gift bottle” cost to make. My guess is somewhere between $3 – $3.50 (that is using the Costco Vodka from France, Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans (I err on the side of using too many), the gifting bottles, the labels, the bakers twine, and so forth). We will get that out to you in another blog soon. Now, back to this program!

Prepare you glass jar for curing your vanilla. You will want to clean it well before using it, if you’re not using the actual bottle the vodka is in. Consider sterilizing it with boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes before using. Let cool. While doing that, prepare your beans.

Place your bean on a cutting board, and with the back side of your knife, work to flatten your bean and make it smooth for cutting.

Cut the bean length wise. Be sure to keep the integrity of the bean intact. You want all of the little pearls of vanilla to remain attached to the pod. Cut on wax-paper if you feel you may loose some of the beans. You don’t want that to happen. Once you are done, drop it into your empty glass jar, or your bottle of vodka.

Note: If you are using a new bottle of Vodka… Be sure to remove some of the vodka, and put it into another clean / sterilized container. Your beans will take up space, so you’ll need to make room for them. You can always pour the vodka back in over the beans, if you’ve removed too much. Just make sure you are removing and measuring so that you get your bean to vodka ratio accurate. Remember to use sterilized bottles and measuring cups. I boil my stainless steel measuring cups.

You will repeat flattening and cutting your beans with how ever many beans you are preparing for your vanilla extract.

Once you’ve filled your jar with the correct amount of beans and vodka, do a happy dance, because you are an official VANILLA MAKER!!!

Okay, it’s time for the ceremonial lid closing.  So give that bottle a few shakes, and place it in a dark and cool place (like the back of a cupboard) to begin the extracting process.

I recommend leaving the jar a minimum of 8 weeks to cure. You’ll want to give the bottle a good shake at least once a week.. maybe even twice weekly.  You will notice it begin to darken over the weeks. Don’t worry if you forget to shake it… Just go shake it when you remember. The world won’t come to an end, and neither will your Vanilla.

The longer it sits extracting, the better the vanilla will be.

Here are some photos of the grebe making our vanilla extract, while I took pictures.  He is such a good sport.  Hope the photos give you an idea of just how EASY this is to do!  Before you know it, you’ll be wondering why it took you so long to start making your own vanilla extract.  Happy vanilla making!

Find something to lay your beans out on...

Find something to lay your beans out on…0002

Count out the amount that you'll need...

Count out the amount that you’ll need…

000400050006

With the back side of your knife, begin to flatten bean...

With the back side of your knife, begin to flatten bean…

0008 0009

Once it's flattened, cut it length wise.  Use a sharp knife, this will make it much easier...

Once it’s flattened, cut it length wise. Use a sharp knife, this will make it much easier…

0012 0013

See the seeds exposed.  You should smell them!

See the seeds exposed. You should smell them!

Use a separate plate to place your cut beans, if you are preparing several...

Use a separate plate to place your cut beans, if you are preparing several…

0022

Lots of beans... Lots of cutting... LOTS OF VANILLA BEAN EXTRACT!!!

Lots of beans… Lots of cutting… LOTS OF VANILLA BEAN EXTRACT!!!

0024

So pretty!

So pretty!

Moving right along...
Moving right along…

0027 0028 0029 0031 0032

Anyone know where that green mug is from, and where and when I may have bought it?

0036

Beans all sliced, and ready to put into bottle.

Beans all sliced, and ready to put into bottle.

We'll first remove some of the vodka to make room for the beans.  We have a sterile jar ready to pour the vodka into.

We’ll first remove some of the vodka to make room for the beans. We have a sterile jar ready to pour the vodka into.

Open...

Open…

Ready... set... pour...

Ready… set… pour…

Vodka bottle is ready for Vanilla Beans now!
Vodka bottle is ready for Vanilla Beans now!

Inserting Beans!

Inserting Beans!

Look at those beans!!!

Look at those beans!!!

This is REALLY happening!  (I'm so easily entertained)...

This is REALLY happening!
(I’m so easily entertained)…

I love the organic look of this picture.

I love the organic look of this picture.

Returning the vodka back to the bottle.

Returning the vodka back to the bottle.

Put the lid on tightly...
Put the lid on tightly…

Awwww....

Awwww….

Give it a couple of shakes...

Give it a couple of shakes…

Like this...

Like this…

And... There ya have it!!! Home Made Pure Vanilla Extract!!!

And… There ya have it!!!
Home Made Pure Vanilla Extract!!!

Now, go put it in a DARK and COOL place for EIGHT WEEKS (minimum)…

Be sure to stop by a couple of times a week an give it a shake.

Before you know it, in no time at all, you’ll be serving up Christmas goodies with your own Homemade Vanilla Extract!!!

Okay, y’all!  I expect to see pictures, and hear feedback…I want to hear all about your experiences too!  Don’t leave me hanging on this one all alone!  We’ll package up our goodies in a couple of months!!!

Much Love,
Amie Joy ~ (reyajoy)
and

the loon and the grebe

© COPYRIGHT Amie Joy Chiarelli Wylie (reyajoy)
2012 – 2013

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

All posts and photographs published on https://sonshinegrove.wordpress.com/ is the original work of Amie Joy Chiarelli Wylie (reyajoy) (unless stated otherwise), and I retain full and sole ownership and rights to the usage and distribution of this content.

5 thoughts on “Make Your Own Vanilla Bean Extract!!!

    • Thank you!!! It’s funny what you’ll end up doing when you’re on bed rest a good portion of you life! HA! Doesn’t the Vanilla look fun though? I can’t wait till I’m more up and around to some fun ones, and learn how to do the video on my camera! =D

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  1. You know. I don’t know what I enjoy more, seeing Pastor Tim model for you with a happy face or the instruction! LOL, you two are so cute and I adore you both. I was laughing a little as I look at Pastor Tim. Thank you for another great idea Amie. Love you

    Like

    • Haahaahaaaa!! Sundie, you crack me up! Yeah, he’s a good sport! I’m just not up to par to be on camera right now, and I felt like this just needed a FACE on camera, you know? I told Tim, NO FACE shots (because he’s so upset about his hair… he’s been waiting 6 months for a hair cut!), but then I persuaded him to let me take a few pics. Seriously, he needs an audience… because the photos were not happening until I said, just start talking to me, as if there were a crowd out in the dining room that you were instructing. All of the sudden, he lit up, and was as happy as could be. Not that Vanilla’s a big deal, but Tim’s a great cook… He should give cooking classes. We’d just need a huge kitchen for that! HA! Love you!!

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  2. Pingback: Bottling Up Our Homemade Vanilla Bean Extract!!! YAY! The Day Has Arrived! | sonshinegrove

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