Yield: 8 ounces
With fewer herbs and fruits to choose from during the cold months, infusing fresh ingredients into baked goods can be challenging. Homemade extracts are the perfect solution for boosting the flavor of your breads and desserts and can be used as a way to extend the enjoyment of fresh herb and fruit flavors. They also make fun, long-lasting gifts for friends and family during the holiday season.
The base recipe for extracts is simple: You only need vodka and a few ingredients that will infuse it with flavor, such as hearty herbs, citrus zests and peels, or vanilla beans. You can also experiment with dark spirits, such as rum, brandy or bourbon, in place of vodka for a richer, sweeter extract. Just remember to start the process early. While herb- and citrus-infused extracts are ready after two weeks, vanilla extracts need to infuse for at least a month.
- 8 ounces 80-proof vodka
- 1 navel orange
- 1 sprig of rosemary, approximately 6 inches long
Pour the vodka into a glass jar that has an airtight lid, such as a pint mason jar. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the peel from the orange. Remove only the orange portion, and leave behind the white pith.
Place the orange peel and rosemary in the vodka. Store at room temperature for two weeks. Shake the jar every few days to ensure the ingredients are submerged in the liquid.
Strain the extract, and discard the orange peel and rosemary. Pour into multiple small jars or back into a half-pint or pint canning jar. It should keep at room temperature for four to six months.