Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lemon Extract Home-made

I did it. Whether I did it correctly still remains to be seen. But I smooshed several recipes all together and made my own concoction of lemon extract. Unlike the recipe for vanilla, I found lots of variations on how to make it. I figured with so many to choose from, I could create my own and not be far from the mark.

The first step in all the recipes was to use a vegetable peeler and remove the yellow part of the rind from the outside of the lemon. The white pith is bitter and should be left behind. At first I put my lemon aside but later changed my mind on what I was going to do with it.
But we'll get to that later, I chopped finely the yellowy part of the rind, the zest, into small pieces. I don't know why you couldn't use a zester but since I didn't have one, I used a peeler. This macro photo makes the pieces look large so don't be deceived by the photograph, the pieces are actually very small.
Then I mixed a half a cup of vodka plus a half a cup of water
in a pint sized canning jar with the lemon rind. The recipe didn't say triple distilled vodka but since my vanilla calls for it, why buy a large bottle of vodka and not have it meet the requirements of all the extracts I wish to try? It isn't like I'll ever drink the stuff.
With the 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup of vodka, and the lemon peel it looked wimpy. The color a little less lemony than I'd like. I scanned the recipes once more wondering if I should have used the other one which called for a 1/4 a cup of water and a 1/2 a cup of vodka. I also questioned if I should have brought the vodka and the lemon rind to a boil on the stove like yet another recipe recommended. I realized I wouldn't have this problem if I wasn't an information junky and had just looked up one recipe. Like that would ever happen- NOT!- so I plunged forward.
Looking at yet another recipe, I chose to add the juice from the lemon which it called for. I like my flavors more intense than many so this suited my tastes. Besides, if the extract was intensely lemony I could always use less in a recipe. I've suspected that some extract companies make their products weak so you will use a larger amount hence, needing to buy the product more often.

With the process so easy, except for the agonizing over what recipe to use, I've wondered why I haven't tried this sooner? I slid the making of mine during the time I waited for supper to cook. Now that I'm done questioning what recipe to use, I'm wondering how long to let it steep, brew, or whatever the proper term is. Some of the recipes said three days and some five but that's neither here not there since it is only a few days difference I decided and thought it could brew, steep or whatever until I was ready to make our favorite lemon pound cake. A cake I like to have frozen to take out when I need a dessert in a hurry.
Eventually, I am going to strain the extract removing the solids from the liquids, something none of the recipes mentioned. But then this is my own extract concoction and I figure I can do with it as I please -- everyone else seems to have.

Don't leave me alone in this experiment, give lemon extract making a try and be sure and let me know what your results are. Christmas is fastly approaching and extracts would make a wonderful gift to those cooks on your list.
Next, I'm going to try mint extract so stay tuned and then it will be orange and almond and whatever else I can find that I think I'll use.

No comments:

Post a Comment