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I love making my own extract so I thought I would try my hand at making homemade lemon extract. It turned out so fresh and lemony, so much different than store-bought. It’s great to make your own spices and flavorings so you know just what’s in them and they taste better too!
It’s not difficult to make extracts. I make them and it’s fun and easy! I love using them to enhance the natural flavors in my dishes.
Here are some of my homemade extracts:
All you need to make lemon extract is some alcohol and a few lemons. You want to have a clear extract for lemon so it can be yellow, so vodka is the place to start.
I don’t know much about alcohol as I don’t drink it, so when I go to get some for extracts, I have to ask for help. You want to find a medium-grade vodka, not the cheap stuff, but you don’t need anything fancy. I ask for the middle of the line.
The flavor that homemade lemon extract has is going to surprise you. I’m always surprised how much better homemade extracts are than store-bought. When I use lemon extract in my recipes along with the juice or zest, it just gives it a depth of flavor that I don’t get any other way.
Pure Lemon Extract
You want your extract to be pure, not full of chemicals like the store-bought kind, so making it yourself is a great way to get that.
Start with your vodka and some lemons. Use a potato peeler to cut just the yellow part of the lemon peel. Make sure not to get any of the white, it’s bitter. I like to scrub my lemons really good and wash them first to get as much of the pesticides off as I can. I like to use organic lemons, but they are hard to find in my town.
Once you get all of the peels off of 2 lemons, place them in a mason jar and cover with 2 cups of vodka. Place the lid on the jar and close tightly. Then store in a dark cabinet for 3-4 weeks. You can turn the jars over to mix everything together a couple of times a week.
At the end of your time, strain the liquid to remove all of the lemon peels. You could toss them in sugar and roast them in the oven and eat them on top of your desserts if you’d like.
Pour the yellow vodka into small jars and label it for later use.
You’re going to love making your own extracts. It’s super simple and so fun. I feel like a mad scientist. I love it.
Recipes to make with lemon extract:
You can use this extract in a ton of great lemon recipes, even if they don’t call for it, it enhances the flavor like crazy!