Say goodbye to those days when you bought those artificial strawberry extract from the store. Learn how to make strawberry extract at home with simple ingredients found in your kitchen cabinet.
Birth of Strawberry Shortcake
Native Americans introduced the colonists to a traditional cornmeal bread made with strawberries. This was the inspiration behind the creation of our very own strawberry shortcake.
Be it a slice of cheesecake, a scoop vanilla ice cream, or a glass of margarita, the pink blush of strawberries can make anything shine like it’s the fourth of July. The sweet and slightly tart taste, the juicy yet crunchy bite, and the seductive smell of the strawberries will tickle your sense every single time. If strawberries are so good, then why just stop there? Why not add a bit more of that strawberry-ness to everything your heart desires with a teeny bit of strawberry extract?! No, we don’t mean with those (less preferred) store-bought synthetic strawberry extracts. Learn how to make your own strawberry extract at home in just a few simple steps and enjoy its strawberry-ness all year round.
Things that you’ll need
♥ A clean glass jar with a tight, heat-proof lid
♥ A strainer
♥ A cheesecloth
♥ A knife or a food processor
♥ An amber-colored dropper bottle
♥ A bit of patience!
♥ Strawberries, ¾ cup
♥ Vodka, 1 cup
● Clean the jar thoroughly by boiling it (along with the lid ) for 15 minutes; remove it, drain the water, and let it cool.
● Chop the berries into small pieces or blitz them for a few seconds in the food processor (whatever makes your life easier).
● After the jar is cooled, add in the strawberries such that they do not exceed ⅔ height of the jar. You can press the strawberries a bit so that they fit in the jar.
● Pour the alcohol into the jar such that the strawberries are completely immersed in the alcohol. Make sure that there is about an inch of alcohol above the strawberries.
● Close the lid of the jar and store it in a cool dark place for about eight weeks. Shake the jar once a week to make sure that every piece of strawberry comes in contact with the alcohol in order to extract maximum flavor from it. If you’re in a hurry or your patience gives in, you can store it for just a month and you’ll still get a good strawberry extract, but its flavor won’t be that strong.
● Strain the strawberries using a strainer lined with a cheesecloth; this will separate the seeds and the pulp from the extract completely.
● Pour it in an amber-colored dropper bottle and store it with the lid on.
#1. Substitute the vodka with vinegar or food-grade glycerin (glycerin:water 3:1) in the above recipe.
#2. Make a strawberry syrup.
♥ Strawberries, 2 cups
♥ Sugar, ½ cup
♥ Water, 1 cup
● Wash and clean the strawberries thoroughly and remove the stem attached.
● Again you can chop them up into small pieces or blitz them in a food processor for a few seconds.
● In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the cut berries, sugar, and water and let it simmer for a good half hour (enjoy the aromatherapy meanwhile).
● Let it cool a bit, and then strain it out using a strainer that is lined with a cheesecloth.
● If you wish to thicken it up, just pour the liquid in a pan and let it boil till you get the consistency you’re looking for (slightly runnier would be better; it tends thicken up as it cools).
● Once cooled, pour it in a jar or a bottle and store it in the refrigerator.
Add Your Own Twist
Play around with the ingredients to create your own flavor.
● Add a bit of rum or brandy to give it an extra oomph.
● Add a note of citrus hints by adding the rinds of lemons and oranges.
● If you can’t get enough of vanilla, add a few vanilla pods to it (don’t you dare throw away the used pods without making some vanilla-scented sugar).
● For chocolate lovers, add a few teaspoons of good-quality cocoa powder and let the cocoa work its magic!
A few drops of this ruby-colored liquid in your dessert is enough to dazzle your guests.