I've been searching high and low for vanilla beans here, ever since my stash of vanilla beans was washed away by flood. That was such a waste! I've been saving them up because I can rarely find vanilla beans here in Manila, I got my stashed from my godmother who hand carried it from the States. Yeah, I know I'm kind of weird, when my godmother ask what I want for 'pasalubong' (a.k.a souvenir/gift from states) my answer is always something food related.^_^
I'm now spoiled ever since godma C bought home Kirkland Madagascar Vanilla Extract, I'm no longer satisfied with using McCormic's and Ferna. I found the bottle too little and they aren't as fragrant as Kirkland's. For a month now, I've been on a vanilla hunt panic, my Kirkland stash is running low, I've got about 2 ounces left. I tried searching for replacement in PriceMart (this is like Waltermart or Costco), they are wholesalers who mostly sells a lot of imported stuff. There is a humongous collection of Kirkland products from medicine to spice but alas no vanilla extracts.
With my vanilla extract dwindling, I resorted to buying McCormic's until I find a good replacement for my Kirkland's. I was even tempted to buy an artificial Mexican vanilla extract. WTH??? I know, I know forgive me it was a weak moment for me. But don't worry I didn't succumb to it. During this depressing moments, I even found a person who sells Nielsen Massey vanilla however, I found here products quite expensive and to top it off I've got to pay a separate shipping fee for it. Thank you but no. Although I must admit I've ordered vanilla bean paste from her before and it went smoothly, so I guess she's my last resort.
Last week, my friends and I are having lunch in a mall and they decided on having a yogurt. I decided to drop by my favorite baking supply store, as I was about to leave buying nothing, there they are sitting quietly on the counter with their gorgeous black "V" logo, plump vanilla beans!!! Weee....I'm so happy such a nice surprise, I quickly bought 3 pieces (1-Tahitian and 2-Bourbon). I'm giddy as a child on her birthday and couldn't wait to get home. I quickly went to look for an empty glass bottle cleaned it, sterilized it and left to dry.
Yesterday afternoon was my busiest Sunday afternoon ever, while waiting for my pie in the oven to bake through. For the first time, I tried making my own Homemade Vanilla Beans. But before doing so I couldn't help but admire the packaging, it's vacuum sealed so once you open the plastic seal, you'd be instantly hit by that intense vanilla aroma. I love the packaging too. I took the sticker with the logo and the name of the variety of vanilla and stuck it on my bottle so I could distinguished the bourbon from Tahitian variety. Now that my bottle is all pretty time to get the vanilla inside, I split open one vanilla put in inside the empty and sterilized glass jar in my case it was a ketchup bottle, now it's a vanilla extract bottle. I topped it off with a good slug of vodka until it covers the vanilla pod. Instantly after a few minutes of steeping you could see the clear vodka being infused by the vanilla and you could clearly see the flecks of vanilla. But wait be patient, these have to stand for 6 weeks minimum, shaken once in a while. Yes SIX weeks, patience is the key here. I'll keep online readers update what happens to this project, looks promising hopefully it doesn't disappoint.
Both the Bourbon and Tahitian vanilla beans that I got came from The Vanilla Company, which is ran by a nice man P. I like him instantly, he is very prompt, when texted about something he replies at once and very nice. I would definitely buy vanillas from him in the future.
HOMEMADE VANILLA EXTRACT
- 3/4 cup vodka
- 1 vanilla bean, split
Split the vanilla beans in half, scrape off the seeds. Put the empty pod and the seed in a clean and sterilized glass bottle, pour the vodka. Be sure to keep the vanilla pod submerged. Cover and store in a cool dark place for 6 weeks minimum. Shake it once in a while to evenly distribute the vanilla essene.