Vanilla beans are expensive, but you can reuse a single pod and still extract lots of flavor. Here’s the proper sequence to make the most of the declining results:
Scrape out the beans for a potent wallop of vanilla.
Steep the seedless pod in a liquid (e.g., milk for ice cream for custard, juice or wine for poaching fruit). Then rinse thoroughly and let dry on a countertop.
“Store” the pod for a while to produce a subtle hint of vanilla: in your sugar jar to make vanilla sugar (perfect for baking or sprinkling); in a bottle of maple syrup; in your vanilla extract (to pump up its flavor); or in a mason jar of bourbon, brandy, or rum (the more pods the better) to create your own homemade vanilla “extract.”
Board Links: Use or toss this used vanilla bean?