Cranberry extract is fun to make and suitable for gifts. The deep burgundy shade of the extract is attractive for holiday giving. A decorative ribbon and tag will make this a quick and easy last minute gift item. I like to give these un-strained, so the fruit is visible in the jar and let the recipient know that they will need to strain it after it has had time to infuse. The extract can be used to enhance baked goods and added to hot or cold beverages. With the high Vitamin C in the berries it may help ward off flu and colds during the winter season. Cranberries are also well know for relieving bladder infections. Homemade extracts are stronger flavored than store-bought, so when using in recipes, you may wish to use a little less than the recipe calls for. Adjust to taste.
6 Oz. Cranberries (Fresh/whole)
1 pint Jar with seal-tight lid
1 pint Vodka or Everclear (does not need to be an expensive brand)
Wash the Cranberries and remove any shriveled or soft berries. Muddle the berries with a mortar and pestle or the back of a wooden spoon slightly to bruise them so the extract will emit the greatest amount of flavor. Pour the berries into a clean, sterilized pint jar. Fill the jar to 1/2 inch from the top with Vodka, covering the berries entirely. Fasten the lid tightly and place in a dark cupboard or pantry to infuse up to 2 months. The extract can be used within that time period, just remove what you need, then recap. At the end of 2 months, strain the cranberries through a fine sieve covered with cheesecloth. Pour the extract back into the jar or bottle in smaller jars for gift giving. Recap the jar or bottle tightly. Label.
NOTE: Do not discard the berries, they can be dehydrated or sugared as another gift or snack. Refer to my links below for the recipes.
For Sugared Cranberries refer to the link:
For Dehydrated Cranberries refer to the link: http://justfowlingaround.weebly.com/recipes-for-self-reliance/dried-cranberriescraisins
For Citrus Extracts refer to the link: http://justfowlingaround.weebly.com/seasoning-and-sauces/citrus-extract
For Almond Extract refer to the link:
For Rosemary Vanilla extract refer to the link: http://justfowlingaround.weebly.com/seasoning-and-sauces/rosemaryvanilla-extract
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