Recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated; much guidance sought from owner of IndriVanilla, Whitney Olsen, who happens to be the nicest person on the planet and is always willing to offer advice with anything vanilla related. Check out her FB page for recipes and ideas.
- For the Indonesian vanilla beans (the variety IndriVanilla supplies), Whitney believes that rum complements the flavor of the vanilla best.
- For strong extract ready to use in 6-8 weeks, you’ll want to use a minimum of 3 luxury vanilla beans or 4 ultra-premium vanilla beans or 5 gourmet vanilla beans per 8 oz. of alcohol.
- Steep for a minimum of 6 weeks, but the longer the better.
- Cheesecloth or coffee filters work well for straining if you wish to do so.
Cooks Illustrated proportions:
- 1 vanilla bean
- 3/4 cup alcohol of choice (Cooks Illustrated used Smirnoff vodka; Whitney recommends something with a proof of at least 80)
- Split a fresh bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Place the seeds and split pod in a sealable container such as a mason jar. Meanwhile, heat the alcohol just to a boil, then pour over seeds and pod. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. Seal the container and store at room temperature for at least 6 weeks. Strain the extract, if desired (I didn’t), and store in a cool, dark place. The extract should keep indefinitely.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes