from one generation to the next
There have been numerous occasions in my cooking past that I have looked at vanilla beans sitting in the strainer, refuse from passing a custard and thought there must be some way I can exploit the remaining fragrant flavour from those expensive wonders. I have tried rinsing and drying them, but the fats clinging on the bean have turned rancid and rendered the bean useless.
A blog I follow, maggiesonebuttkitchen has provided the perfect answer to this dilemma, make vanilla essence. Rinse the vanilla bean after it has been used, dry it on paper towel and then drop it into a jar of brandy. The vanilla will infuse the brandy with all its heady fragrance and the brandy will preserve the bean.
I started a batch of vanilla essence a few months ago after reading this handy tip, it’s taken a while for the flavour to develop because vanilla beans are not an everyday ingredient, but I think I have reached critical mass now, 6 beans to 200mls brandy. Bean number 6 was added about 2 weeks ago. I think if you intend to start a vanilla essence jar, allow 3 months for a good flavour to develop. Just keep adding beans and topping up the brandy as needed.
Thanks Maggie, and I hope your one butt kitchen will be in working order again soon.