This homemade orange extract gives rich flavor and aroma to any dessert or drink and boosts temptation. Learn how to make it home using orange peels and vodka, and use it in cooking or baking.
Why make homemade?
Making your orange extract gives you a high-quality, customizable, cost-effective, and long-lasting flavoring ingredient that you can use in various dishes. You can adjust the strength and flavor and add other ingredients such as vanilla, cinnamon, or even citrus zest. In general, homemade extract lasts for years and is a great way to preserve the taste of citrus fruits in season.
In addition, it makes a beautiful edible gift for friends and family who love baking or cooking.
What is Orange Extract?
Orange extract is a flavoring made from the peel of an orange and an alcohol, such as vodka. Orange essence is commonly used in cooking and baking to add a strong orange flavor to dishes. It is highly concentrated, so only a small amount is needed to add a strong orange flavor to marinades, butter, chutney, liqueurs, and sauces.
To make a bold and flavorful extract, you will need just two ingredients.
Orange zest (peel only, no white pith) from 2-3 oranges
Since we will be using orange peel to make an extract, it’s best to choose oranges with a thick peel and a higher concentration of essential oils and have sweet and juicy flesh. These are valencia oranges, navel oranges or blood oranges. Select organic oranges that are free of any wax coating. Alternatively, pour hot water over citruses in a colander and scrub them with a brush to remove the wax coating. Dry them before zesting. Orange zest is also great for making orange peel tea.
Vodka (or clear, high-proof alcohol like Everclear)
You may select vodka or rum as the foundation for your liqueur. Vodka will accentuate the citrus flavor, while rum will impart its unique flavor to the extract.
You can also use grain alcohol, such as Everclear which is a high-proof alcohol that does not have any distinct flavor. Thus orange taste will be dominant. However, Everclear is exceptionally potent, with an alcohol content of 95% or 190 proof, so you must be careful when using it in recipes.
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How to Make Orange Extract
First step: washing and peeling the oranges.
Rinse the oranges thoroughly with lukewarm water and dry them with a clean towel before using the orange zest for the extract.
Zest your oranges using a vegetable peeler or a zester. Remove only the orange part, not the white pith, which makes the extract bitter.
Second step: Pour vodka over the zest.
Place the zest in a clean glass jar. Pour the vodka over the zest, making sure it is fully submerged.
Third step: Let it macerate
Seal the jar or bottle tightly and store it in a cool, dark place for at least four weeks. Shake the jar or bottle occasionally.
Fourth step: Strain and bottle it.
After four weeks, strain out the peels from the liquid and discard the zest. The extract can be stored in a clean, airtight container and kept in a cool, dark place (out of direct sunlight) for several years. You can re-use the bottles from store-bought extracts and refill them with homemade extracts.
The ratio of zest to solvent can affect the strength of the extract, so you may need to adjust the ratio to suit your taste. Similarly works the steeping time. The longer you steep it, the more potent the extract will be. If you used a different solvent or a different method to make your homemade orange extract, it would be helpful to know the details so I can give you a better answer.
- Fruits – Experiment with different fruits: Try other oranges or citruses such as lime, lemon, or grapefruits.
- Alcohol – Alcohol is a common ingredient in making extracts because it is a good solvent for extracting flavors from fruits, herbs, and spices. However, you can also make extracts using other solvents, such as vegetable glycerin or oil-based extracts. For example, you can make an Orange oil-based extract using Orange zest and a carrier oil like olive oil. It’s worth noting that using alcohol will give you a more potent extract, and the alcohol also acts as a preservative, which can extend the shelf life of the extract.
Add other herbs and spices, such as vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg, to add depth and complexity to the flavor.
For an exotic twist, try adding freshly grated ginger or cardamom.
How to use Homemade Orange Extract?
Homemade orange extract adds a bright, fresh orange flavor to various dishes:
Add a few drops of orange extract to cake, cookie, and muffin recipes for a citrus flavor.
It adds a tangy, citrus flavor to chicken, fish, and pork marinades.
Add a few drops of salad dressings and sauces for a hint of citrus.
For a refreshing twist, use the orange extract to flavor iced tea, orange syrup, lemonade, or cocktails.
Add orange extract to frosting, mousse, or ice cream for a delicious citrus flavor.
Mix it with powdered sugar and butter to make a glaze for cakes and pastries.
With sugar and, water, orange extract, make a homemade Triple sec or Cointreau..
This extract can also make a citrus-flavored butter for toast.
Remember that a little goes a long way with extract, so it is best to start with a small amount and adjust to taste.
Is Orange Flavoring The Same As Orange Extract?
Orange flavoring and orange extract can be similar in terms of the flavor they provide, but they are not the same thing. Orange extract is made by steeping the peel of an orange in alcohol, such as vodka, while orange flavoring is typically made through a mixture of natural and artificial ingredients. As a result, the orange extract is a more concentrated and pure form of orange flavor. In contrast, orange flavoring is a blend of various ingredients, including natural orange oil, artificial flavors, and other ingredients. As a result, the orange extract is generally considered a more natural product than orange flavoring.
The time it takes to make extracts can vary depending on the type of extract and the method used.
For example, when making orange extract, it typically takes four weeks for the orange zest to infuse the alcohol with its flavor. During this time, it’s essential to shake the jar or bottle occasionally. In addition, the longer you steep the zest in the alcohol, the stronger the extract will be.
When using other solvents, such as vegetable glycerin or oil, the steeping time may vary, but it’s generally recommended to let the mixture steep for 4-6 weeks.
When using dry ingredients such as herbs, it can take up to 6-8 weeks for the flavor to fully infuse the solvent. It’s also important to note that the ratio of zest to solvent can affect the strength of the extract, so you may need to adjust the ratio to suit your taste.
And also, the steeping time, the longer you steep it, the stronger it will be. If you used a different solvent or a different method to make your homemade orange extract, it would be helpful to know the details so I can give you a better answer.
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