Halal recipe for DIY vanilla extract?
August 3, 2018 7:43 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone have a recipe for DIY vanilla extract that is halal? Are the glycerine formulations any good? We're making ice cream, but would also bake with it.

We know how to make vanilla extract at home with alcohol & whole vanilla beans, but we want to make halal vanilla to cook for Muslim friends who can't have the alcohol.

I have found recipes online (as well as commercial products) that use glycerine, but I see complaints about an off taste. Is the taste noticeable? Are there better alternatives? Is it just worth buying the commercial stuff? What about powdered extract that's alcohol-free?

A friend of mine here in town is married to the local imam, and she said she just buys the expensive stuff at Trader Joe's.

I want to do the right thing, but if it tastes gross then I am not doing my friends any favors!
posted by wenestvedt to Food & Drink (12 answers total)
 
If you are making sweets and regularly make vanilla extract, why don't you try making your own vanilla sugar?

I'm not sure how much of the sugar in your recipe you'd need to substitute with home made vanilla sugar since I never tried making it myself. I typically use commercial, artificially flavored vanilla sugar (ex) since it's much cheaper and tastes about the same to me. For that type, you'd only use a couple of teaspoons per batch of cookies, sponge, etc.
posted by yonglin at 8:33 PM on August 3, 2018 [5 favorites]


If you do try making the vanilla exract with glycerin, be sure to add a bit of water(eg 3 tablespoons water for three ounces of liquor). I noticed that a lot of online vanilla extract recipes don't call for water, but a vanilla-making expert said in a lecture I went to that it's a necessary ingredient.
posted by aniola at 8:38 PM on August 3, 2018 [1 favorite]


I came in to suggest homemade vanilla sugar too, where you scrape the beans into sugar and mix and then let it sit for a week or two. I make my own occasionally and I just use it like regular sugar. The amount of vanilla in most recipes isn't enough to be concerned about throwing off the moisture balance from not using liquid vanilla extract.
posted by Pandora Kouti at 8:45 PM on August 3, 2018 [1 favorite]


I’ve had good luck with vanilla bean powder. Can’t recall the brand at the moment but it is out there and delicious (especially sprinkled on fruit salad and left to sit for a few hours).
posted by lizifer at 8:46 PM on August 3, 2018 [1 favorite]


Came in to say make vanilla sugar.
When I make vanilla ice cream, I mostly use whole vanilla beans, not extract. I feel cold foods need a lot of taste. Different recipes have different methods, but if my recipe calls for scraping the seeds out of the pod, I'll put the remaining pod in a jar I have where there are other leftover pods and they are all covered with sugar. This sugar is very fragrant, stronger smelling than the store-bought stuff, and good for many cake recipes.
posted by mumimor at 8:50 PM on August 3, 2018 [3 favorites]


Why not just scrape a portion of a vanilla bean into whatever you are making? You know, just use actual vanilla?

I like vanilla sugar, too. Both would work. No, I would not make homemade extract. Easiest is to just scrape a bean and enjoy real vanilla.
posted by jbenben at 9:36 PM on August 3, 2018 [4 favorites]


You could make vanilla bean paste. (You can also buy it, but I don’t know if they use extract in making it. That recipe doesn’t. Some do.)
posted by Weeping_angel at 12:43 AM on August 4, 2018 [2 favorites]


There is also exactly zero reason why you can't use different alternative techniques for different foods. Vanilla bean paste is excellent in ice cream. I imagine vanilla sugar would be better for baking.
posted by Jilder at 3:51 AM on August 4, 2018 [2 favorites]


I used vanilla powder when I had Muslim neighbors. It was a long time ago, and I can’t find the same brand, but it was fine. I didn’t make ice cream though.
posted by FencingGal at 9:03 AM on August 4, 2018


Yeah. I’m not sure what the extract gets you that just scraping the vanilla pod wouldn’t. That’s certainly what I would do for the ice cream (most good vanilla ice cream recipes have you do this anyway), and I imagine it would work for the baking, too.
posted by Betelgeuse at 5:49 PM on August 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


I use glycerin based extract all the time. I've found it serves most common needs for vanilla.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 7:28 PM on August 4, 2018


I make ice cream all the time and vanilla beans would work well in place of extract.
posted by Autumnheart at 9:08 PM on August 4, 2018


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