Homemade vanilla extract and simple vanilla pudding by Mama Steph
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - If you’ve ever wanted to try making your own vanilla extract, now is the perfect time! It’s easy and fun to make, it’s much more economical than buying small bottles of it at the grocery store, and it even makes cute holiday gifts.
I’ll also share with you a simple vanilla pudding recipe using my homemade extract. It’s easy to make, too, of course, and is delicious as a base for banana pudding, or with caramel sauce drizzled over it.
Homemade vanilla extract
750 ml bottle of inexpensive 80-proof vodka (this equals just over three cups)
15 vanilla beans (Grade B, easily found on Amazon, Ebay, and frequently in person at World Market)
Remove whole vanilla beans from packaging. Use the tip of a sharp paring knife to slit open the seam of each bean, leaving the ends intact.
Spread the bean open so the thousands of tiny seeds inside the pod get exposed to the vodka.
Drop the beans into the bottle.
Alternatively, you can divide the vodka up into smaller bottles or jars for gift giving, and add the beans to the vodka, cutting them shorter as needed. Make sure to keep the same ratio of vodka to beans. You want four to five beans per eight ounces of vodka, so have fun doing the math. Enlist the help of the nearest child, Siri or Alexa, as needed.
Close the lid tightly, and shake the bottle well. Store in a cool, dry cabinet. Every few days, give it another shake. Let it steep for at least eight weeks before using. The longer it steeps, the better vanilla flavor it will have.
(Note: I paid just under $1 per bean on Amazon for the vanilla beans I purchased. At a large national grocery store, I saw them in a jar for $14 per bean, which is ridiculous. The vodka I used was inexpensive, $7 for the whole bottle. Real vanilla extract sells for around $5 per ounce. My total for 25 ounces of homemade real vanilla extract will be $22, less than $1 per ounce. Making it in bulk is much cheaper and the flavor is amazing.)
Simple vanilla pudding
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 egg, well-beaten
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, cornstarch, egg, evaporated milk and regular milk. Mix together well and stir continuously until thickened. You must avoid letting the pudding scorch on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat, add vanilla and mix well.
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