This was the leftover mash from the first Vanilla Bean Paste. I dried it and powdered it in Vitamix.
Once I had a nice powder, I added it to my sifted sugar to make Vanilla Sugar. Although this looks like ants in the sugar, I can assure you it will taste much better! :)
I was blessed enough to be able to purchase a case of lemons. After juicing them and freezing the juice, I took all of the zest off so that I could make Lemon Extract. I made sure that I cleaned the lemons first before doing anything, as I didn't want to get any unwanted chemicals in my extract. I was able to get 2-64 oz jars full of beautiful Lemon Zest. Then I covered the zest with 80 proof Vodka and allowed it so absorb for a few months.
After the bottles sat in a cool dark area, it was time to decant them. So I strained out the lemon zest. This smelled so incredible potent! It was heavenly!
After I strained all of the liquid, I put it into bottles and labeled it to share with my family. This turned out perfectly!
Have you ever made your own Vanilla Bean Paste? It can be a bit intimidating if you don't know what you are doing, but if you get some excellent quality beans and a good recipe, you can make some of this delectable deliciousness yourself.
To start with, when you have your beans and you have prepared them for the recipe, most recipes will tell you that you need to slice the bean and scrape out all of the caviar. That is extremely labor intensive! So instead of doing that, I cut off the distal end of the bean and scraped out the caviar with the back side of a sharp knife. As you can see, I get a good amount of the caviar. This took much less time than slicing it open and scraping the caviar out.
The next thing to do is to add the caviar and the beans to a large pot. I also added the alcohol that I had them presoaking in for a week to the pot.
Then you add the rest of your ingredients to the pot (Sugar, Water, Corn Syrup, Lime Juice for my recipe). Boil this for 5-15 minutes stirring all the while.
When your pot is all ready, take the beans out and save them for other things. Take the liquid and strain it into your blender (I used my Vitamix). Turn it on until you can see the hole in the blender. Remove the middle lid and then start to add your Xanthan Gum.
The Xanthan gum should be a very fine powder. And you need to add it by very lighly dusting it in the moving liquid a small bit at a time. If you add it too heavily and all at once, it will clump and you won't be able to mix it in. You can see I only added a teaspoon and I used the tiny white spoon to dust it in as the mixture was blending.
After you have added the Xanthan gum and the rest of the alcohol, then pour the mixture into glass bottles to cool. Be sure to allow it to cool completely before you put the lid on. Then label it how you wish and use it.
With making Vanilla there is nothing that is wasted. I took the leftover beans and put them into one of my "Mother" jars of vanilla that I already have brewing. I also took some of the mash that I had from another recipe and dried it. Then I ground it up finely and put it in some sugar to make vanilla sugar.
So now, from one pound of premium Vanilla beans, I got some wonderful Vanilla Extract, Some Delicious Vanilla Paste, and some decadent Vanilla Sugar.
If you have the desire and the supplies, you too can make this for you and share it your family!