I found a recipe to make homemade vanilla, and thought it would be really cool to try it! I ended up searching a bunch of vanilla recipes, and basically used the average of what those recipes were telling me.
You can use any ratio of 3:1, beans to cups of vodka. I had 7 beans, so I used 2.5 cups of vodka.
First, cut the vanilla beans in half. I did this with a knife, and slid it down the bean.
As you can see, there are tiny seeds inside the beans. The beans are rather sticky when you do this, so pull apart the sides a bit so you can see the seeds. Be careful though! The seeds will stick to your hands if you let them!
You will then pour the vodka into the jar, and place the cut beans inside. Close the lid, and shake the jar. The seeds inside the beans will be jostled out of the bean, and slowly settle at the bottom of the jar.
The following week, you should shake the jar once a day, jostling more seeds out of the bean. After the first week, shake it whenever you think to. One source said to shake it once a week just to remind yourself that it exists!
The vanilla should stew for around 8-10 weeks. Eight seems to be the average amount, while you can always have it stew longer for a stronger flavor.
You can definitely use the vanilla straight out of the jar, and let the vanilla brew longer, leaving the vanilla beans in the jar. But I transferred the vanilla into individual 4 oz. jars. And, of course, as a graphic design major, I had to design some labels for the bottles.
|See how it makes a "V"? :)|
I cut shorter sticks of the beans to place inside the jars so as to get a stronger flavor.