Vodka & vanilla beans, that’s all it takes. Clotilde of Chocolate and Zucchini gives a nice in-depth description in her post here, however the whole process is really quite simple. 1 cup of alcohol to 3 vanilla beans. Most people use vodka because of it’s mild flavor. However, I do think rum would be nice too. I love the look of the flecks from vanilla beans in things like ice cream, frosting and custard, but I hate the process of scraping and steeping to get those little seeds out. Enter vanilla bean paste. You can use it interchangeably with extract, and no scraping! Anyway, I don’t like to waste the paste on things like breads and cakes, where you can’t even see the vanilla bean seeds. Enter vanilla extract. I had some vanilla beans in the pantry from my pre-paste days, and decided to make my own extract! You do have to cut open the beans, but no scraping is necessary…
Vanilla Extract, makes 1 cup
1 cup vodka (or rum)
3 vanilla beans
Cut open vanilla beans lengthwise and put inside an air-tight container. Store container in a cook, dark place and shake every couple of days, or whenever you think of it. It will gradually turn a dark brown color over time. It takes about 8 weeks for the extract to be ready.