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Monday, March 9, 2009

Homemade Vanilla & Lemon Extract

Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe
Split 7 vanilla beans end-to-end with a sharp knife. Add these to a .750 liter (1/5) bottle of rum, vodka, ever-clear, scotch, brandy, or alcohol of your choice.
Let stand for three to four weeks in a cool dark place (pantry) and shake once daily. After this time period it is ready for use.
When bottle is 1/4 full add three to four more beans and more alcohol.
Let stand for another week before using (shaking once daily).
Seeds may float in the syrupy liquid but unless you are giving the finished product as a gift, don’t remove them–they only add to the flavor.
The vanilla beans are good as long as they have a vanilla scent.
When they have lost their scent, discard and replace with fresh beans.
You may remove the beans from the alcohol base and either scrape or chop and use them in recipes in place of the extract if you want a strong vanilla flavor.

Vanilla Sugar
I also like to keep a canister of sugar with a vanilla bean (cut open) down in it and use this in certain recipes. It's great in teas and coffees.

Homemade Lemon Extract Recipe

1/2 cup vodka (see above)
1 large lemon cleaned and peeled with a vegetable peeler making sure you avoid the pith (white part)
Add the lemon peel to the vodka in a sterile glass jar with a lid
Place in a cool dark place (pantry) for 1-2 weeks and shake once daily.
It will be ready for use at this time, but unlike the vanilla extract you must remove the peel.

Lemon Sugar
This can be stored n the fridge for several months. The recipe can also be used with orange peel.

3 Lemons (peel with a vegetable peeler and chop into small chunks)
2 Cups Sugar

In a food processor or blender, add 1 cup of the sugar and all the lemon zest. Pulse for a few minutes until the zest has been finely ground. Add the rest of the sugar and toss until well mixed. Spread the lemon sugar in a large pan and let sit until dry, about an hour or so.
Store in a sealed, airtight container in the refrigerator and use as needed. This is great in espresso!

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