31 March 2012
Some time ago I received a bundle of vanilla beans via one of my husband's Madagascar-based colleagues. The scent is heavenly and I love splitting the beans, scraping them and throwing them into cookies, hot and cold cocoa drinks, pie crusts, custards and steamed milk.
And, after the scraping, I'm left with the pod. For awhile, it seemed that every cooking show host advised to add the leftover pods to a jar of sugar-- providing vanilla sugar at the ready. But, if your kitchen is anything like mine, you're not using much vanilla sugar! And, eventually those leftover pods stack up. Here is another use for them:
Recipe: Vanilla extract
Place at least three split leftover vanilla pods into a glass jar. Cover with vodka* (any inexpensive brand will do). Place the lid on the jar and allow to sit unopened for one full week. Continue to add used vanilla pods as you have leftovers. The extract will grow darker and more flavorful with time.
*Add to recipes for baked goods (the alcohol will evaporate during the baking process).