10.17.2013

Making Homemade Extracts


Last year I tried making my own Vanilla Extract and I've been using it ever since.  Since then I added Homemade Lemon and Homemade Orange Extracts to my cupboard.  Not only does making your own save money, but it also ensures you know exactly what's in your product.  

If you would like to make extracts for gift-giving this Holiday season, now is the time to get them going since the vanilla extract needs a few months to sit and allow the flavors to meld.

Purchasing Vanilla Beans in the local grocery stores is ridiculously expensive.  I've found a few online sources, such as Beanilla, that sell them in bulk at a reasonable {for vanilla beans} price.  {I don't make anything off of this link nor do they know I'm linking to them, I am doing so only because I've successfully purchased from them in the past - if you search "bulk vanilla beans" you will find plenty of sources}.


The Recipes:

Vanilla Extract
For every 1 cup of Vodka, you'll need 3 Vanilla Beans

If you're adding to a full bottle of vodka, start by removing about 1 cup of vodka.  Set it aside.  Split your beans down the center and scrap the beans from the pod with a knife.  Add the beans and the pod to the bottle of vodka.  Once you've done this with all beans, add the reserved cup of vodka until the bottle is full.  Shake the bottle and put aside in a dark, cool area for 2 -4 months.

Weekly, or when you think of it, shake the bottle.  Check it after 2 months.  It should smell strongly of vanilla and be dark and slightly syrupy.  If it isn't, put it aside for a couple of weeks and continue to shake and check on it.  Strain the extract and discard the beans.

You can pour it into smaller bottles or keep it in the vodka bottle to use.  If the bottle is clear, you can add a whole bean or two for decoration.


Lemon Extract
**A great way to use up lemon peels leftover during canning season!**
For every 1 cup of Vodka you'll need the peel of 5 lemons, all white pith removed {otherwise it will be very bitter}

Add your lemon peel to a bottle.  Pour the vodka over it and tightly seal.  Store in a dark, cool area.  Shake the bottle and put aside for 2 weeks to 1 month.

Weekly, or when you think of it, shake the bottle.  Check it after 2 weeks. Strain the extract and discard peels before use.


Orange Extract
**A great way to use up orange peels leftover during canning season!**
For every 1 cup of Vodka you'll need the peel of 5 oranges, all white pith removed {otherwise it will be very bitter}

Add your orange peel to a bottle.  Pour the vodka over it and tightly seal.  Store in a dark, cool area.  Shake the bottle and put aside for 2 weeks to 1 month.

Weekly, or when you think of it, shake the bottle.  Check it after 2 weeks. Strain the extract and discard peels before use.

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