After discovering that many of even the best Vanilla Extracts contain water as a prime ingredient I decided to dive in and make my own.
The recipe is simple, two vanilla beans, split lengthwise, a cup of vodka, a glass container with a tight lid, and about 3 months in a cool dark place.
The seeds have most of the vanilla flavour, hence the splitting of the pods to expose them to the vodka immediately. Using a sharp knife I split the beans leaving the ends attached so the bean keeps its shape and looks better in the container.
A mason jar works fine, but I had this great clamp top bottle that originally contained Vermont Maple Syrup so I put it to work for me here. This is day two, so there is a long way to go for the flavor and color to fully develop.
~ Alert ~ it takes about three months for the vanilla extract to fully develop. So start now, the hardest part for most people is finding a jar they really like. The extract will be ready at the end of February, just in time to make its first appearance in cookies, or custard, or whipped cream atop a pie that will fight the mid-winter blues.