Home Made Vanilla Extract


The last time I was in New York I stared hard at a bottle vanilla beans.I’d never seen them in Israel and I’d heard that they were amazing and I wanted to buy the bottle but…..my sensible self kicked in.
“that bottle is glass. What if it shatters in the suitcase.
My spontaneous impulsive self fought back. I’ll take my chances or use bubble wrap it.
“But you are leaving today and bubble wrapping is such a pain,” my sensible self replied, and the bottle was left behind. But G-d smiled on me and
Two weeks after I got home I discovered loosevanilla beans on sale at Yom Tov’s gourmet market in Jerusalem.(I am told that you can find them in Mahane Yehuda also) at six shekels.Pricey for something that looks like tree bark , (a bit less than two bucks)but I was elated and I bought two.
The next question was what to do with them. Scraping out the insides of the pods adding them directly to cake batter was one option but my sensible self nixed it. It seemed too decadent and two uneconomical a use for something relatively pricey. The next idea was to them whole in a bag of sugar but my senible self pointed out an that ants crawl into my sugar bags with some regularity.Would I really want my precious vanilla beans to end up in the garbage? So I opted for the most sensible choice-making a bottle of vanilla extract.
Until I acquired those two vanilla beans, I didnt realize that vanilla extract could be make at home but thanks to the internet I learned that vanilla extract is a snap to make. It’s a two ingredient recipe. My favorite kind of cooking!
Until Yair Lapid raised liquor prices–to curb underaged drinking, he’s not my favorite politician but on this he has my support–alchohol used to be cheap in Israel. Now it’s not. I paid NIS 26 (about $7) for a miniscule tiny airplane sized bottle of unflavored Absolut vodka but never mind. I was so excited to be able to make my own vanilla.
There is really nothing to it. I split the beans with the tip of a sharp paring knife but you don’t even need to do that. It’s enough to break them into a few randomly sized pieces and scatter them hither and tither in the bottle. . For this, it’s wisest to first empty out the booze, using a funnel, add the broken pods and then funnel the booze back in on top of the broken pods.
After that store in a cool, dark place (not the fridge, but a closed cabinet is fine) and wait about six weeks. Open and voila, homemade vanilla. If you want to be fancy you can strain out the pods, but you don’t have to.
Ingredients
1/3 cup absolut or other unflavored Vodka
Two whole vanilla beans cut into small pieces
Combine and store for six weeks. Use as you would any other vanilla.

Here is what it looks like IMG_0876IMG_0878vanilla

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8 thoughts on “Home Made Vanilla Extract

  1. Beans sounds good==obtainable . Welcome,a hearty one. Didn’t think your plane could land here at Kennedy today. I would say “Thank G-D”

    From: rfbeck@msn.com To: comment+rw5qlfmronuru80-wmxohe1@comment.wordpress.com Subject: RE: [New post] Home Made Vanilla Extract Date: Sun, 19 Jan 2014 22:31:31 -0500

    sounds delicious==and cheap, but where do I buy vanilla bark? Ruth And–when are you coming?

    Date: Sun, 19 Jan 2014 11:21:09 +0000 To: rfbeck@msn.com

  2. Don’t bother with Absolut any cheap vodka will do according to cooks illustrated. and if you heat up the vodka it takes much faster to turn into extract.

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