Homemade vanilla extract is a simple and delightful way to add flavor to your culinary creations. It also makes for a really nice little gift to have on hand. Here's a recipe for making vanilla extract using Strathcona Spirits Clear Stock Spirit, 96% Alcohol.
6 to 8 vanilla beans (preferably Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans)
Begin by selecting high-quality vanilla beans. Look for plump, moist beans that are oily to the touch. Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans are commonly used for their rich flavor.
Using a sharp knife, split each vanilla bean lengthwise, but keep them connected at one end. This step helps to release the flavors from the beans.
Place the split vanilla beans into a clean glass jar with an airtight lid. A mason jar works well for this purpose.
Pour 1 cup of Strathcona Spirits Clear Stock, 96% Alcohol over the vanilla beans in the jar. Make sure the beans are fully submerged in the alcohol.
Seal the jar tightly with the lid and give it a good shake to distribute the alcohol.
Store the jar in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry or cupboard, for at least 8 weeks. During this time, the alcohol will extract the flavors from the vanilla beans, resulting in a rich and aromatic vanilla extract.
Shake the jar gently every week or so to agitate the beans and enhance the extraction process.
After 8 weeks, your homemade vanilla extract should be ready to use. The longer you let it sit, the stronger the flavor will become. Some people prefer to let it infuse for several months for a more intense vanilla taste.
When ready to use, you can strain the vanilla extract if desired to remove any small bits of vanilla bean. However, it's also perfectly fine to leave the beans in the extract for additional flavor.
Your homemade vanilla extract can be stored indefinitely in a cool, dark place. As you use it, you can replenish the jar by adding more Strathcona Spirits Clear Stock and additional vanilla beans if needed.
Enjoy using your homemade vanilla extract in various recipes, such as cakes, cookies, ice creams, and more!