Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Why Does Patience Have To Be A Virtue??

Oh, I am getting so impatient right now. Not quiet two weeks ago, I made my very first batch of homemade vanilla extract. It was fun (though a tad time consuming) to cut open 30 vanilla beans, mix the caviar and pods into a big wine bottle with 2 1/2 cups of vodka, and shake it up really good. But the hard part now, is waiting for it to finish curing. I still have a little over two weeks to go before it's really ready to use in it's most raw form, but it will be several more months before it's fully extracted all the vanilla-y goodness from the pods and the caviar. It smells absolutely heavenly though, and if extract didn't taste so horrid, I would be gulping it down as I type.

This is really an economical way to make your own extract, especially if, like me, you go through about 16 oz. per 9 months. It gets pricey. I made mine a little stronger than store bought (I love the Penzey's double strength vanilla). So for the cost per ounce, I think it worked out to about $15 (roughly) for the amount of vodka and beans that I used to make about 20 oz. worth of extract, compared to the $46.95 for a 16 oz. bottle of Penzey's double strength, I'd say it's a huge savings. I think I might go for some better beans next time too. I got some decent ones, but there are a lot of various sources to choose from. I went for speed :)

I'll let you know in a few weeks how the extract tastes in baking. If I last that long...


Nick said...

I have more to write about being in Mexico with Ally, but one of the things that amazed us was how incredibly good the vanilla there was! The entire week we were there, but thing that both of us agreed on was that the Vanilla ice cream was the absolute best we had ever tasted in our lives, without a doubt. It is so strong, and so fresh, its incredible.

MommaBlogger said...

The freshness of all the beans I was cutting was absolutely amazing. I have had vanilla bean ice cream in the past, but I'll bet the stuff you had in Mexico was way better. I used a spare bean to make some vanilla bean buttercream frosting, and it was by far the best frosting I'd ever had. And I'm a chocoholic :)