I love to make cream cheese pound cake with a good lemon extract. I’ve used store-bought for quite some time; now I make my own (Thank you Pinterest!).

It is cheaper and has a nice pure lemony flavor. The store-bought can sometimes overwhelm a recipe where the homemade extract generally will not. Orange extract can also be made with the same process.

Items needed for orange or lemon extract:

3-4 Lemons or oranges
6-8 ounce glass jar with rubber seal lid
Vodka
Zester tool

There are two different ways to make the extract. You have a smooth result with one, and the other has bits of zest mixed throughout.

First option (smooth): Shave portions of the lemon or orange peeling and put them into the jar. Do not include any pith (white part on the inside of the peel) portion of the peeling. Pour the vodka over the peeling and close the lid.

Second option (zest mixed in): Zest the fruit completely. Put all of the zest into the jar. Zesting pulls just the outside edge of the peeling as well as the essential oils needs for good extract. Pour the vodka until almost full and close the lid.

Store the jars at room temperature for two weeks to have a nice pure lemon or orange extract. The shelf life of the extract is approximately six months.

Choose your option based on how you plan to use the extract. If you want a clean liquid with no pieces of zest, the first option is your best choice. If you don’t mind the zest being mixed into your recipe, the second option works great. I use the second option for pound cakes to have a nice lemon flavor with the pretty flecks of lemon zest throughout.

Has anyone tried to make the vanilla extract I shared recently? If so, what did you think? Click here for more information.

Your comments are appreciated. Let me know other areas you would like to hear about.

Please feel free to email me any ideas or topics you would like to discuss. I will gladly review and share my views. LRichardson@wdbj7.com