DIY Cherry & Vanilla Extract
Cherry extract is a wonderful extract to make in the spring and summer months before the fall holiday season. (Or any time of year, really.) It is also a perfect gift to make for the holidays, Easter, Mother's Day, 4th of July, birthdays, anniversaries, wedding and baby showers and much more. It can be used in any recipe in place of - or blended with - the vanilla extract called for in the recipe.
This recipe makes roughly 8oz of tart cherry extract.
What you will need:
- 1oz of freeze-dried cherries
- 8oz of vodka (35%-50% alcohol content which is 70-100 proof.
- 1 vanilla bean
- Add 1oz of broken/crumbled freeze-dried fruit into a glass jar, 8oz or larger.
- It may be necessary to break and crumble your freeze-dried fruit to make sure it fits into the jar and also to ensure that the spirit covers it entirely. Most people prefer using crumbled fruit pieces so the spirit has more surface area contact with the fruit for faster extraction.
- Add 8oz of your favorite spirit. Light spirits are recommended.
- Some of the fruit pieces may float and that is OK.
- We recommended adding 1 whole vanilla bean to the jar, folded or tied in a knot to ensure it is fully submerged. Set it on top of the fruit.
- The vanilla works as a binder to both soften the bite of the spirit and blend the spirit and the fruit together beautifully.
- Close the lid and store in a cool/dark place for 8 weeks. The fruit will often turn to a dark brown color, and that is just fine.
- After 8 weeks, pour the extract through a fine-mesh strainer or coffee filter to remove the fruit chunks, crumbs and particles. It is now ready to use!
- For a double-fold, extremely sweet taste, repeat the steps above a second time or simply double the amount of fruit the first time.
- Keep the vanilla bean in the jar as long as you wish, or until it is no longer submerged. Then remove it to make vanilla powder, vanilla sugar or to start a mother jar.
Once you make your first extract, you will find that there are countless other extract-making applications and your journey into the extract-making world begins. Visit our extract-recipe center and our vanilla extract how-to guide center to learn valuable information to make sure each extract turns out great!
Other uses of freeze-dried fruits:
- Healthy snacks
- Trail mix
- Garnish on frostings/pastries
- Fruit smoothy
- Added in cereal
- And much more.