An in-depth guide on making homemade almond extract – step-by-step instructions, tips, and variations

How to make almond extract

If you are a fan of liqueurs and love experimenting with different flavors, then you know the excitement of making your own extracts. Almond extract is one of those essentials that every baker needs in their pantry. While you can easily find it in stores, making your own almond extract not only ensures that you have a fresh supply whenever you need it, but also allows you to control the quality and taste of the final product. Plus, the process itself is surprisingly simple and requires only a few basic ingredients.

To make almond extract, you’ll need 1 vanilla bean, however, the star of the show is the almonds themselves. Marzipan is a good option for almond extract, but if you want to go back to the drawing board and create something truly amazing, then using whole almonds is a must. Cut off the outer layer of the almonds, as you only need the inner kernels for this recipe. You may need about 2 cups of almonds, depending on the size of your bottle and how almondy you want the extract to be.

Don’t worry if you don’t have apricots or peaches on hand, they’re not necessary for making almond extract. While they can add a subtle fruity note to the final product, the main flavor comes from the almonds. However, if you want to experiment further, a brandy or vodka made from apricots or peaches can help enhance the overall flavor profile. Just make sure to use a high-proof alcohol, as it will keep the extract pure and prevent any spoilage.

Once you have all the necessary supplies, making the extract is as simple as steeping the almonds in the alcohol for several weeks. The longer you let it sit, the stronger the almond flavor will be. Some recipes recommend waiting for at least 4-6 weeks, while others suggest letting it infuse for up to 3 months. Patience is key here, as you want the flavors to meld together and create a truly delicious extract.

After weeks of waiting, the time will finally come to strain the liquid and bottle your homemade almond extract. Fill a funnel with a fine-mesh strainer and pour the liquid through it into a glass bottle or jar. Take a moment to appreciate the fragrant aroma that fills the air as you carefully transfer the extract. Seal the bottle tightly and store it in a cool, dark place to ensure its freshness and longevity.

Now you have your very own almond extract, ready to be used in all your baking adventures. The possibilities are endless – from adding a few drops to your favorite cookie dough, to jazzing up a simple cake batter. Almond extract brings a distinct and sharp flavor to every dish, making it a must-have in any kitchen. And the best part? You can proudly tell your friends and family that this delicious extract was made entirely by you!

Almond Extract

If you’re a fan of almonds and want to add their delicious, fragrant taste to your recipes, making almond extract at home is easier than you might think. Almond extract is a popular ingredient in many baked goods and desserts, providing a rich and nutty flavor. It can be quite expensive to buy at the store, but with a few simple supplies and a little bit of time, you can make your own homemade almond extract.

Here’s what you’ll need:

3 whole almond beans (kernels)
1 cup of vodka

1. Start by cutting a small slit in the outer skin of each almond bean. This will help release the almond flavor while it soaks in the vodka.

2. Place the slit almonds in a clean glass bottle or jar.

3. Pour the vodka into the bottle, making sure that the almonds are completely submerged.

4. Seal the bottle tightly and shake it gently to mix the vodka and almonds.

5. Keep the bottle in a cool, dark place for at least 2 weeks. The longer you let it sit, the more intense the almond flavor will become. It’s a good idea to shake the bottle once every few days to help infuse the vodka with the almond essence.

6. After the 2 weeks are up, strain the liquid through a funnel or sieve. Discard the almond kernels, as they have done their job of imparting flavor to the vodka.

7. Pour the almond extract into small bottles or jars for storage. You can also use the original vodka bottle if you prefer.

That’s it! You now have homemade almond extract that you can use in all of your favorite recipes. It’s a great way to add an extra touch of almond flavor to everything from cookies and cakes to smoothies and cocktails. Plus, making your own extract is not only fun, but it can also save you money in the long run.

If you’re not a fan of vodka or want to try something different, you can also replace the vodka with another type of neutral-flavored liquor, such as rum or brandy. Keep in mind that different liquors will impart their own unique flavor to the extract, so choose accordingly.

Another fun twist is to make fruit-infused almond extract. You can add fruits like peaches or apricots into the bottle along with the almonds and vodka. This will give your extract a hint of fruity flavor along with the almond notes. Just make sure to cut the fruits into small pieces and remove any pits or seeds before adding them to the bottle.

Now that you know how to make your own almond extract, there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying the rich, almondy flavor in every bite. Whether you’re baking a batch of cookies or whipping up a homemade marzipan, the proof is in the taste – homemade almond extract is a must-have in every kitchen!

What Even Is an Almond

Before we dive into the process of making almond extract, let’s first understand what exactly an almond is. Almonds are edible seeds that come from the almond tree. They are typically regarded as nuts, but technically, they are seeds. Almonds have a hard outer shell and a white, edible inner kernel. They have a sweet, delicate flavor and are widely used in both sweet and savory dishes.

Almond extract is a concentrated liquid made by soaking almonds in a liquid, typically alcohol, to extract their flavors. It is commonly used as a flavoring agent in cooking and baking, adding a distinct almondy taste to various recipes. Almond extract is also used in the production of liqueurs, as it imparts a rich almond flavor to the beverage.

Now that you know what almonds and almond extract are, let’s get into the process of making homemade almond extract. You’ll need a few supplies: almonds, vodka (or another type of alcohol), a jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid, a sharp knife to cut the almonds, and a funnel to help with pouring liquid.

The first step is to blanch the almonds to remove their outer skins. To do this, place the almonds in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes. Then, drain the almonds and immediately transfer them to a bowl of ice water. The sudden temperature change will help loosen the skins, making them easier to peel. Gently squeeze each almond to remove the skin.

Next, finely chop the blanched almonds. You can do this by hand or use a food processor to speed up the process. The goal is to break the almonds into small pieces to expose more surface area for the extraction process.

Place the chopped almonds into a jar or bottle and pour vodka (or another type of alcohol) over them. The ratio is typically 1 part almonds to 2 parts alcohol, but you can adjust the ratio according to your taste preferences. Make sure the almonds are fully submerged in the liquid.

Seal the jar or bottle tightly and give it a good shake to ensure the almond flavor is thoroughly extracted. Store the jar or bottle in a cool, dark place for at least 2 weeks, shaking it occasionally to agitate the mixture.

After 2 weeks, strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove the almond solids. You can discard the solids or use them in other recipes, like marzipan or almond flour. The resulting liquid is your homemade almond extract!

Keep the almond extract in a tightly sealed bottle or jar, away from direct sunlight, to maintain its flavor. Homemade almond extract can last for several months, but if you notice any changes in color or smell, it’s best to make a fresh batch.

If you don’t want to make your own almond extract, you can easily replace it with store-bought versions. However, homemade almond extract has a more intense and fragrant flavor compared to commercial extracts.

Now that you know what almonds and almond extract are, and how to make your own almond extract, you’re ready to explore the endless possibilities of this delicious and aromatic ingredient. Whether you want to enhance the flavor of your baked goods, add a unique twist to your cocktails, or simply enjoy the taste of almond in your everyday cooking, almond extract can be a fun and versatile addition to your pantry.

Supplies for Homemade Vanilla Extract

Supplies for Homemade Vanilla Extract

When it comes to making your own vanilla extract at home, there are a few supplies you will need. Here’s a list of what you’ll need to get started:

  • Vanilla Beans: The star ingredient for homemade vanilla extract. Cut down the amount of vanilla beans you use and try substituting with another type of bean or even a fruit, like apricot or peach, to add a different flavor profile.
  • Vodka: You’ll need a high-proof alcohol like vodka to extract the fragrant oils from the vanilla beans. Choose a brand that is known for its neutral taste, so the flavor of the extract doesn’t overpower your recipes.
  • Funnel: This will help you pour the liquid extract into bottles without making a mess.
  • Bottles: Find some small, dark bottles to store your homemade vanilla extract. Amber or cobalt blue glass works best, as it helps to protect the extract from light.
  • Knife: You’ll need a sharp knife to split the vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape out the inner seeds.
  • Cutting Board: Use a cutting board to safely cut the vanilla beans and prevent any accidents.

These supplies are the basics you’ll need to get started with making your own vanilla extract. However, there are other fun and creative options you can explore depending on your preferences and what you have available. For example, you can try using almond or apricot kernels to make almond or apricot-flavored extracts. Just keep in mind that these substitutes may alter the taste slightly, so experiment to find what works best for your recipes.

Now that you know what supplies you need, let’s move on to the step-by-step recipe for making your own homemade vanilla extract!

Step 1 – Cut the Bean

Once you have your almonds or substitutes, it’s time to get to work. First, you’ll need to remove the outer hull or shell of the almond. To do this, place the almonds on a cutting board and carefully cut through the shell with a sharp knife. Be careful not to cut too deep and avoid cutting into the inner almond itself. You want to keep the inner part intact.

After you’ve cut through the shell, use your fingers to pry it open and reveal the almond inside. Take a look at the almond bean you’ve just uncovered. It should be a light color and have a slightly sweet and fragrant aroma. Don’t be surprised if it smells just like marzipan or almond extract – that’s the scent you’re after!

Now, keep going with the rest of your almonds. Depending on how much almond-flavored liquid you want to make, you might need about 2 to 3 cups of almonds. Remember, the more almonds you use, the stronger the flavor of your homemade almond extract will be.

If you’re making a smaller batch, one trick you can try is to actually replace some of the almonds with apricot pits. Apricot pits have a similar flavor profile to almonds, so adding a few to the mix can enhance the taste of your extract. Just be sure to crack them open carefully to release the inner kernel.

Once you’ve cut open all your almonds, it’s time to move on to the next step of the process. But before we do, just one last tip. If you’re not planning to use the almond shells for anything else, you can toss them in a compost pile or use them as mulch for your garden.

Step 2 – Add Your Beans to the Bottle

Now that you have your supplies gathered and your apricot kernels ready, it’s time to add them to the bottle. Make sure you have a large glass jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid. You need something that can hold at least 2 cups of liquid.

First, take your apricot kernels and cut them in half. You don’t need to remove the outer skin or anything, just cut them down the middle. This will help release the almond-flavored inner part of the kernel.

Next, take your vanilla bean and cut it in half lengthwise. You want to expose the tiny black seeds inside. Place the cut bean and the apricot kernels into the bottle.

If you’re making a larger batch, you can add more than one vanilla bean and apricot kernels. Just make sure to keep the ratio of 3 apricot kernels to 1 vanilla bean.

Once you have added the almond and vanilla ingredients to the bottle, it’s time to add the vodka. You want to fill the bottle up until the liquid covers all the ingredients. Add enough vodka so that the beans and kernels are completely submerged.

Now, screw the lid back onto the bottle and give it a good shake. This will help the flavors mix together and infuse into the liquid.

Your almond extract is now brewing! This step is crucial for extracting all the delicious almond flavor, so be patient and let the extract sit for at least 2 weeks.

Note that the extract may not look like much at this stage – it’s just a clear liquid with some floating beans and kernels. However, over time, the liquid will turn a golden brown color and develop a fragrant, almondy aroma.

While you’re waiting for the extract to mature, you can experiment with other homemade extracts or even make some marzipan or almond-flavored liqueur. The possibilities are endless!

When your extract is ready, you can use it in any recipe that calls for almond extract. Just remember to replace the store-bought brand with your homemade version.

Adding the beans to the bottle is an important step in making almond extract. The apricot kernels and vanilla beans are the main components that give the extract its distinct almond flavor. So, take your time and make sure you add the right ratio of beans to vodka.

Step 3 – Add Your Vodka

Now that your almond fruits or kernels have been processed into an almond extract base, it’s time to add the vodka. Vodka is the perfect alcohol to use for making homemade extracts because it is flavorless and will not overpower the delicate almond flavors.

First, you’ll need to choose a high-quality vodka. It’s important to use a brand that you enjoy drinking, as the taste of the vodka will contribute to the overall flavor of your almond extract. Look for a vodka with a high proof, preferably around 80 proof or higher, to ensure that it extracts the maximum amount of flavor from the almonds.

Next, take your bottle or container, and with a sharp knife, cut an opening big enough to fit a funnel. This will make it easier to pour in the vodka. If you’re using a small bottle, you may need to cut the funnel down to fit. Place the funnel into the bottle, making sure it fits securely.

Then, using a measuring cup or pour spout, carefully pour the vodka into the bottle until it fills the container. You’ll want to use about 2 parts vodka for every 1 part almond extract base. If you’re using a larger bottle or making a bigger batch, you can adjust the amounts accordingly.

Once the vodka is poured in, securely close the bottle with the cap or cork. Make sure to give it a good shake to mix the vodka and almond extract base together. After shaking, you’ll notice the liquid becomes fragrant with the almondy aroma.

Now, your homemade almond extract is complete, however, you’ll need to let it sit for a while longer. Almond extracts need time to infuse and develop the flavor, just like vanilla extracts. You can expect the process to take about 2-4 weeks.

During this time, it’s important to occasionally shake the bottle to help the flavors mix and develop evenly. Every week or so, take a look at how the extract is coming along. You’ll notice that the liquid becomes darker and more aromatic as time goes on.

After several weeks, your almond extract will be ready to use in all your favorite recipes. It can be used as a substitute for vanilla extract, or as an addition to recipes that need a delicious almond-flavored boost. Whether you’re making marzipan, apricot liqueur, or just want to add a hint of almond to your baked goods, homemade almond extract is a fun and rewarding project that can replace store-bought extracts with something truly special.

Possible Substitutes

If you don’t have almonds or want to try something different, there are a few substitutes you can use to make homemade almond extract.

1. Apricot Kernels: Apricot kernels have a similar flavor to almonds and can be used as a substitute. Just replace the almonds with apricot kernels in the recipe and follow the same steps.

2. Peach or Plum Kernels: Another option is to use the kernels from peaches or plums. These fruits have a similar flavor profile to almonds and can add a delicious twist to your homemade extract.

3. Vanilla Extract: If you’re looking to make an almond-flavored extract without any nuts, you can use vanilla extract instead. Keep in mind that the flavor won’t be exactly the same, but it will still add a delicious and fragrant touch to your recipes.

4. Almond Liqueur: Another option is to use almond liqueur in place of almond extract. Just add the same amount of almond liqueur as the recipe calls for in almond extract. Keep in mind that almond liqueur may have a slightly sharp or sweet taste, depending on the brand.

5. Almond-Flavored Vodka: If you want to make a quick homemade extract and don’t have time to wait for the flavor to develop, you can use almond-flavored vodka. Just add the vodka to a bottle and let it infuse for a few weeks before using it in your recipes.

These substitutes are not exactly the same as homemade almond extract, but they can still help you achieve a similar almondy flavor in your dishes. Experiment with different fruits and extracts to find the one that suits your taste preferences.

Something Out of Nothing Homemade Almond Extract

Are you a fan of almond-flavored treats but don’t want to spend a fortune on expensive brand-name almond extracts? Look no further! With just a few simple ingredients and a little patience, you can make your own delicious and fragrant almond extract right at home. The best part? You don’t even need almonds!

Many people don’t realize that the almond fruit actually contains an inner part called the almond kernel. This kernel is the source of the almondy flavor we all know and love. However, extracting the almond kernel can be quite a challenge, which is why we’re going to make almond extract using apricot kernels instead!

Apricot kernels are very similar to almond kernels and provide a similar flavor profile. They are also easier to find and much less expensive. So, let’s get started!

What You’ll Need

  • 3 cups of vodka (or any other high-proof liquor)
  • 2 empty glass bottles with airtight lids
  • 1 cup of apricot kernels
  • 1 sharp knife
  • 1 funnel

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Start by cutting the apricot kernels in half using a sharp knife. Be careful not to cut yourself!
  2. Place the cut apricot kernels into one of the empty glass bottles.
  3. Pour the vodka over the apricot kernels, filling the bottle to the top. Make sure all the kernels are fully submerged in the liquid.
  4. Close the lid tightly and give the bottle a good shake to mix the ingredients together.
  5. Store the bottle in a cool, dark place for at least 2 weeks. Shake the bottle once a day to help extract the flavor from the kernels.
  6. After 2 weeks, strain the liquid through a cheesecloth or fine-mesh sieve into the second empty glass bottle. This will remove the apricot kernels and any sediment.
  7. Your homemade almond extract is now ready to use! It can be kept in a sealed bottle for up to 6 months.

Now that you have your own homemade almond extract, you can use it in all your favorite recipes. It’s perfect for adding a delicious almond flavor to baked goods, smoothies, cocktails, and even savory dishes. Enjoy the sweet and nutty aroma of your homemade almond extract without breaking the bank!


HOMEMADE EXTRACT | Almond & Vanilla Extract | EASY | Self-Sufficiency

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