Vanilla bean pods define extravagance. They’re the purest form of vanilla, rising high above extracts and imitators alike.
Yes, You Can Reuse Those Expensive Vanilla Bean Pods
They also aren’t cheap.
But guess what? They're not one and done!
You can reuse those pricey pods. And you should.
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The cross utilization of your vanilla pods depends on how you use them in the first place.
Steeping the split pods in ice cream, crème brûlée, or crème anglaise? Give them a good rinse after you fish them out, let them dry, and throw them in a zipper-lock bag. You can steep and resteep a few more times before they’ve given up all their glorious vanilla–y goodness.
Dry the pods thoroughly; place them upright in an airtight container filled with white granulated sugar; and let the mixture sit for about two weeks, agitating it every few days.
Use your vanilla sugar (which will keep at room temperature, tightly covered, for about a month) to sweeten coffee or to add subtle vanilla flavor to custards, cookies, or cakes.
Be sure to use white sugar for vanilla sugar, as brown sugar overpowers the vanilla.
Looking for other ways to use vanilla bean pods?
- Add them to poached fruit
- Flavor your tea or coffee
- Infuse caramel sauce
- Stock up for homemade extract
- Booze infusion! (vodka, whiskey, etc.)