To make sure we got a corn free, gluten free vanilla extract, we decided to make our own. Only sad thing is that it's not organic. Darn. We mixed it up today, though, 750 ml worth, and it should be done in ...a month? Two months? Something to that effect.
We used this link that I've mentioned in a previous post, then realized how many variations the site contained and how lazy I am and just threw it together to see what I could come up with that might work.
Homemade Vanilla Extract, GF, corn free
What we used:
Chopin brand vodka (potato based), 750 ml, WAY too expensive ($35 a bottle, on sale). Ouch.
2 vanilla beans
What we did:
1. Split the two McCormick vanilla beans open, which was the entire bottle. One whole bottle of vanilla beans only contained TWO BEANS. Pretty sad, really. But I gathered these precious brown things in my hands, scraped the inside a little, and mixed the scrapings and the beans into the bottle of Chopin vodka. Most recipes I saw had you pour the vodka into another container, because it's easier to retrieve the beans later for use in something else, like vanilla bean ice cream. I assume I'll not do that this time and so used the vodka bottle, partly because it was prettier.
2. Then, we put the bottle in a cupboard, out of the sun. Every other day or so, I'm supposed to take it out and shake it up and down for 20-30 seconds.
7/11/10 - By the second day, you could already see it starting to take on a brown color. A little over a week, and it looks like this:
Now we just wait a few weeks and sample it to see how it turns out!
- Do your research on the vodka if you need one that is gluten free - it was amazing how few vodkas we could find that were not grain based. It took a lot of super googling skills, and usually the companies themselves were no help at all, web-wise. For whatever reason, they seem to guard the source of their alcohol as though it were the Holy Grail and everyone is out to steal it away.
I'll let you know how it turns out. I am thinking that we may need to track down more beans to really get a good vanilla flavor with this much vodka, but we'll see.