Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Homemade Extracts

I do *a lot* of baking hence I use quite a bit of extract.  Extracts can be so expensive to buy in the stores; $3 or more for a tiny bottle of extract.  Because of this, I have started making my own.  My very first extract that I ever made was vanilla extract.  This year, I'm going to make four:  Lemon, Orange, Grapefruit, and Vanilla.  I'm a little little nervous about the grapefruit extract because I don't generally like the taste of grapefruit peel, I find it too bitter, but the cost to make homemade extracts is negligible so I'm going for it!



For extracts I like to use quarter pints.  I feel like using anything larger makes too much extract and wastes a perfectly good jar.



For the citrus extract:  I just took the zest off of 2 lemons, 1 orange, and half a grapefruit and put them in their respective jars.  Fill it up with vodka (90 proof), cover, shake, and keep in a dark place.  Shake every so often.  After a month or so, check the extracts.  If they are at the flavor of your liking, strain and bottle.  If you would like, if it's too bitter, you can add a teeny, tiny bit of sugar to the extract. 

For the vanilla extract:  I cut the ends off of three vanilla beans and sliced them down the middle.  I then cut them into fourths.  I placed the bean in the jar and filled the jar with vodka, cover, shake, and keep in a dark place.  Shake every so often.  I don't strain the vanilla bean when the extract is ready to use.  When I bottle the extract, I keep a vanilla bean or two in the bottle.

Top Left: Lemon; Top Right: Orange; Bottom Left: Grapefruit; Bottom Right: Vanilla

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