A friend who is working is Madagascar knows about my love affair with the oven and brought them back for me on his last trip home. So I have been doing my best to put a dent in the vanilla bean pile. -Steph McVox
This is the pile after I was done and gave some to Bonnie.
I started plunking vanilla beans into everything! Like bourbon and vodka so I have my own extract:
And I pulverized them into sugar. Thank you Alton Brown for your easy-peasy Vanilla Bean Sugar recipe. I use it on cinnamon toast; my Mom sprinkles it on pie crusts; Liesl sprinkles it on berries; and Bonnie used it on her Truffles Royale.
Then I made Vanilla Pear Liqueur:
Vanilla Pear Vodka
Adapted from Belvedere Vodka
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 3 cups vodka
- ½ cup brandy
- 3 vanilla beans, cut in half
- 6-7 ripe pears, washed
In a large glass container, mix the sugar, vodka, brandy and stir. Cut off the tops and bottoms of the washed pears, and then cut into segments length-wise. Remove the core and seeds and place. Place in the glass container with the sugar, vodka and brandy. Add the vanilla beans throughout the mixture. Cover and place in a cool dark area for 4-12 weeks, stirring regularly. (I kept tasting every couple of weeks until I thought the flavours were melded – after 3 months I liked it) Stir and strain the mixture through a colander. Discard the pears and strain the liquid back through a coffee filter into a clean container(s). Taste and add some more vodka if it seems too sweet. Continue to rest for another 2-3 weeks. Some sediment may form and this can either be removed by further straining or shaken to mix before serving. Cheers!
Recently blood Oranges were in season, so I used Julie Van Rosendaal’s recipe for Blood Orange Vanilla Marmalade:
I know that everyone is not lucky enough to get a windfall of vanilla beans, so thanks again and again to Ivana and BJ!