Homemade Vanilla Extract

homemade vanilla extract

It is a brand new year and I figured I should start 2012 with a fresh start—right at the pastry beginning. For me that’s homemade vanilla extract, probably the most-used ingredient in my kitchen after flour and sugar.

I always have a stack of beans and bottles of extract. I admit I don’t always make my own, but it is something, like homemade yogurt, that once you make it, you’re ruined to the store-bought version.

It is easy to make, but to get the best result you have to be patient. The longer you let the vanilla beans sit in the vodka, the better and stronger the flavor. I let this bottle sit for 5 weeks before opening it (I used a LOT of beans, so it matured faster, if you use less, it can take up to 12 weeks to have enough flavor), which was a test of willpower I didn’t know I possessed. The result is like perfume, I want to add this homemade vanilla extract to all of my recipes and dab a bit behind my ears. I’ll use it in everything from cakes to cocktails.

Here you can see me make my homemade vanilla extract on The Drew Barrymore Show!

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