How To Make Anise Extract At Home
Bottled spice and flavoring extracts available in the market are expensive. Here is a simple and inexpensive way to make anise extract at home. It keeps for a long time and can be used in many ways to give the beautiful aroma and flavor.
Anise and Star Anise, though sharing similar names and having the characteristic licorice flavor,are actually two different ingredients. Anise, also called anise seed is actually a herb belonging to the same family as cumin, dill, fennel and celery. The seeds and leaves of Anise are used in cooking and baking. Star Anise which is also Chinese star is actually a spice and comes from a fruit and is used in Asian cooking as a whole spice of ground.
Both have a distinct licorice flavor and are used to flavor liqueurs, beverages and in baking.
The pure anise extract available in the supermarket, is a tincture anise in alcohol.
Making anise extract at home is really easy. Here are some tips on how to make a bottle of homemade anise extract, which is as good as or maybe better than the commercial ones. Both Star anise and Anise seeds are easily available in the market.
Fill a half pint jar with whole star anise. Pour in vodka till it completely fills the jar.
Seal the jar and store it in a cool, dark place for three months or more, shaking the jar once a week. The longer you store the spice in the alcohol, the stronger the flavor your extract will have.
Once the extract has matured to your liking, strain the liquid into another bottle or jar to separate the star anise from the extract.
You could substitute the Start anise with Anise seeds and follow the same method to make an Anise seed tincture. Crush the anise seeds a bit and use any extracting solvent or alcohol.
If after three months of steeping, you feel that the extract is not strong enough, keep it for a couple of months more.
You can always substitute anise extract with anise oil in your cooking and baking recipes. Anise oil is stronger and more concentrated than tincture or extract so remember to add 1/8th the amount of extract prescribed in the recipe.
So, follow above tips to make anise extract at home.
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