Saturday, June 14, 2014

Lavender Extract

I don't know why I didn't think of this before.  Every time I try to use dried culinary lavender in something, I have a devil of a time straining out the used buds.  You don't eat it, you're just trying to get the flavor and aroma.  I did have a d'oh moment when Food in Jars pointed out that you can put the buds in a tea ball infuser and just pull out the ball when you're done.

This is a much easier solution that lasts a long time.  You can apply this method to pretty much any herb, even savory ones.  The internet is pretty consistent in the use of vodka as the alcohol, due to its almost nonexistent flavor.  If you use potato-only vodka, it's probably KLP.

The amounts I'm posting for this will probably last you a couple of years and are the easiest to do the math if you want to alter it.  Feel free to scale up or down as needed.  My batch was closer to half a cup, as I just used up the last of the vodka.  If storing in a room-temperature cabinet, any kind of glass jar or bottle with a good lid will do.  If you wish to display it, perhaps with a pretty label, get a dark-tinted bottle.  Either way, make sure it has a good lid so the alcohol doesn't evaporate.

*1 C vodka
*1/4 C dried culinary lavender

1.  Boil an 8-oz capacity glass jar or bottle for 10 minutes to sterilize it.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

2.  Add vodka and lavender to jar.  Seal with a clean lid or cap and shake.  Store in a cool, dry place away from light and shake every few days.  The longer it sits, the stronger the extract will be.  It will develop its tea-like color after only a few days, so don't go by that.  And don't keep opening it to smell or test.  Just trust it to do its thing.

3.  After two weeks to a month, run solution through a coffee filter-lined sieve to remove lavender buds.  Return to bottle and use as needed.  Because it's alcohol, it will keep pretty much forever.

Makes 1 cup extract

Difficulty rating  π

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