Recipes and Stories

12 November 2011: Mexican Vanilla, Ready to Rumble

November 12, 2011

Tags: Mexican Vanilla, Classical Southern Cooking, Homemade Vanilla Extract

Homemade Mexican Vanilla Extract, ready to use after two weeks' steeping
Two weeks in, the Mexican vanilla has had it's daily shake and is now ready to rumble, just in time for the holiday drinking custard, creme anglaise, ice cream, and velvet-rich pound cake, among other things.

Notice how much the color has deepened. It will continue to get richer and darker as it ages.

There's no need to decant the extract from the beans: in fact, one shouldn't; the extract can actually be replenished for a long by simply by adding bourbon in kind to replace what was taken out. When it seems to be weakening, just use it up and start a new batch.

28 October 2011: Mexican Bourbon Vanilla Extract, Day 3

October 28, 2011

Tags: Mexican Vanilla, Vanilla, Homemade Vanilla Extract

Bourbon Mexican Vanilla Extract, Day 3: the bourbon is now drinking in some of the vanilla's rich color and is several shades darker
The third day: the bottle has been kept in a cool, dark place, and has been shaken once daily. Already the color is deeper, richer, especially toward the bottom of the bottle. I won't open until it's ready to use, but the fragrance of the vanilla will already be conquering the sharp bite of the alcohol.