Learn how to scrape a vanilla bean and make DIY vanilla sugar here.
by Lindsay Evans
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A perfect addition to any baked good, vanilla sugar is sweetly aromatic and super easy to make. You can either place your pod in a jar with two cups of sugar and let sit for a week, or two. Or, after cleaning and drying out your pods, blend them with sugar in a food processor.
To Scrape a Vanilla Pod and Make DIY Vanilla Sugar:
You will need:
1 fresh vanilla bean
Jar of superfine sugar
To Scrape Vanilla Bean:
Purchase fresh, plump and moist vanilla beans is essential and use them as soon as possible to prevent drying out.
1. Split the pod lengthwise into two halves: Assemble your cutting board, knife, and vanilla pod. I like to use the little hooked area of the pod as a handle, anchoring the pod to the cutting board with my non-dominate hand. This helps you to maneuver the pod without getting your fingers full of the precious vanilla seeds. Starting as close to the hook as possible, firmly run the tip of the paring knife down the length of the pod. You may need to repeat this step if the pod didn't completely split on the first try. Try to follow your original cut when doing this to produce two halves of the pod, joined at the top by the little hook.
2. Scrape the pod halves: Still holding the hooked area down on the cutting board, run the unsharpened side of your knife down the length of each of the pod halves, using firm pressure. I sometimes find that the sharp side of the knife can puncture the pod and pull up too many fibers along the way, creating a lot more mess then necessary. The dull side works perfectly to carefully but thoroughly scrape the seeds.
3. Use the seeds and save the pod! Go ahead and add the seeds to your recipe but don't throw away the pod! If your recipe requires a liquid, you can add the pod to the liquid to steep, further enhancing the vanilla flavor. This works especially well if the liquid has been heated. See notes below for other ways to use your vanilla pod.
To Make Vanilla Sugar:
Check out our Quick Bites video on How to Make DIY Vanilla Sugar!