How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract
Learn How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract, and you’ll never have to buy it again. Watch my video and print out the recipe in this post for step-by-step instructions. This vanilla extract is perpetual and will last indefinitely.
Making Homemade Extracts
Making homemade extracts is probably one of the easiest things to do. Vanilla Extract is probably the simplest, and it lasts the longest. Some call it a perpetual extract. Ina Garten, the best selling cookbook author, once said that the beans used in her extract are almost 20 years old! Now that certainly warrants the perpetual label!
In my video, I walk you through the simple steps involved in making Vanilla Extract. You’ll simply cut the beans in half and/or split them down the middle. Next, you’ll place them in a quart-sized or one-liter jar and then fill it with vodka.
Why Vodka for My Extract?
I like to use vodka when making Vanilla Extract or any extract for that matter. Vodka is colorless and basically tasteless and odorless, so it lets the vanilla flavor shine through. However, you can also try other spirits, including rum or bourbon.
What If I Don’t Want to Use Alcohol for My Extract?
Keep in mind that when you use a Homemade Extract, you are most likely going to use it in baking. The heat of the oven will help the alcohol dissipate and just leave the lovely extract flavor behind.
However, if you are concerned about the high-proof alcohol used in making an extract, you do have options. For replacing the vodka or other high-proof alcohol in any extract recipe, simply substitute the alcohol called for with three parts liquid glycerine and one part water. Now keep in mind, glycerine is, in essence, alcohol, but with a much lower alcohol content than 80-100 proof spirits.
One other option when making extracts is to use a low-alcohol wine mixed with glycerine to make your extract. To learn how to make homemade wine and use it with glycerin to make a low-alcohol extract, please visit my sweet friend Heidi over at Rain Country Homestead.
More Ideas for the Traditional Foods Pantry
Now that you’ve learned how to make homemade Vanilla Extract, be sure to try your hand at making more Homemade Extracts and other essentials for stocking your Traditional Foods Pantry, including:
- How to Make a Variety of Homemade Vinegars playlist
- How to Make Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother – DIY From Scratch Recipe for Beginners
- Homemade Baking Essentials – Baking Basics playlist – including how to make Natural Food Colorings, Evaporated Milk, and Condensed Milk.
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How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract
- 1 quart-sized jar or 1 liter-sized jar
- 10 Vanilla Beans, cut in half and split lengthwise
- Add vanilla beans to the clean jar and cover with vodka.
- Allow the beans to steep in vodka for six months in a dark pantry or cupboard.
- After six months, remove some of the vanilla extract and decant it into a clean bottle.
- Add new vodka to the original jar containing the vanilla beans, and return the jar to the pantry or cupboard to steep for another six months.
- Every six months, continue this process of decanting some vanilla extract into a separate bottle and topping off the jar containing the vanilla beans with additional alcohol. By following this process, your vanilla extract will basically last indefinitely.
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