I have begun a months-long process attempting to make homemade vanilla extract. The instructions make it sound fairly simple.
- Cut up a bunch of vanilla beans and put them in vodka for a long time.
The number of vanilla beans, the way you cut them, the length of time for steeping, and the amount of vodka are all up for debate based on all the recipes I found. I combined the ingredients in two quart jars and put them in a paper sack in the top of my closet to keep it out of the light. By some time this fall I should have a huge amount of vanilla extract. I will need to source some (hopefully glass) amber/brown bottles (again to keep the extract out of the light) and then decant it into the smaller containers.
It will make a special gift I can give to a few friends, and I’ll have enough for home use for 2 years.