Monday 9 December 2013

Home made lemon extract (DIY edible Christmas gift)

Every year I have major plans of making edible gifts for my friends. Last year I started off with good intentions; to make a hamper of sorts with all cool edible gifts... because you know food blogger and all, people would be more happy to receive things to eat than onesies form Primark. Since sending edible gifts by post to parents in India was not an option, I thought of making a recipe calendar for them with my "gorgeous photographs (self-proclaimed of course)" and recipes. I harassed Ro so much about the calendar - software to use, how to get dimensions right, where to get it printed etc etc- that he finally lost it and asked me to just do my own shit.
And that's exactly what i did... wasted A LOT!!!! of time with the damn calendar. The thing is, I have this image of how it should be in my head and I have to get it that way no matter what. The fact that I was challenged with high end photo editing software meant I had to use Picasa and PicMonkey to take care of my needs, and unfortunately my needs exceeded the basic help these options left me with. So by the time I got to month March it was around 30th of December. No way was I going to finish the remaining 9 plus the main cover in less than a month. So there, that conveniently ended my calendar plan.

You might wonder if I at least completed my edible hamper idea.. nope that also didn't happen in spite of pinning tonnes of packaging and labelling ideas and looking forward to making them. It actually made me wonder if I was more interested in packing and labelling things, than making the edible gifts. The only thing I finally did was send these cupcakes to my neighbour..yes in that red plate itself. Shame on me, I know!!
This year, I started early, in spite of a crazy work schedule. These home made lemon extracts are proof that I actually have edible gifts to send out to friends. The old me would have waited till 24th December to infuse, but no, I'm 17 days early and patting my back for being proactive. They will be one of the gifts my lucky friends receive. My non alcoholic friends will of course get some edible goodies which i'll try and blog before Christmas, but no promises.

First on the list will be the Christmas themed cookies I'll be making with the new OXO Good Grips Cookie Press. This fabulous gadget not only lets you whip out cookies of same size, but you also have the option of selecting from 12 different shapes with snowflake, wreath and tree definitely going into my Christmas gift box. The daisy, buttercup and sunflower are a personal favourite so I'm going to include that too for good measure. The stainless steel blades are dishwasher safe and can be easily stored in the box that comes with the gadget. The cookie press will be available in Lakeland from January 2014 and if you want to make loads of cookies at one go then this is the gadget to have.
Lemon extract basic recipe adapted from here (makes 3, 236ml bottles)
Vodka- 3 cups (any quality is fine)
Lemons- 5 to 6 (make sure they are organic, unwaxed lemons)
Glass bottles with lid- 23 to 250 ml

Sterilise the bottles by washing them in warm soapy water and then leaving to dry completely.
Wash the lemons and wipe them dry.
Peel the lemons with a zester, making sure none of the white pith comes along with the zest.
Carefully add the zest into the bottles. I added around 2 lemons per bottle for a strong flavour. 
Pour in 1 cup of vodka per bottle. If you use a measuring jug with a beak, it would be much easier, or a funnel.
Seal with a lid and store in a cool dark place.
Gently shake it everyday, for about 1 week or so, or alternate days at least.
When ready to use, either strain the fruit and use or simple keep using the extract as and when required with the peel still in the bottle.
Dress the bottle and its a perfect Christmas gift.
Notes: I bought my bottles online at a very reasonable price
I chucked a slit birds eye chilli into one bottle
My next set of 3 will be orange extract. Use one large orange for each bottle and follow the procedure mentioned above.
You can actually go crazy with infusing vodka- vanilla, rosemary and lime, raspberry, blackberry, mango, peppercorns- are on my to do list. If you do want to give it a shot, just eye ball the measurements based on how strong you'd like them to be and use accordingly.
Add the extract to bakes, cakes and custards or add some simple syrup and use in a cocktail. 

With thanks to OXO Good grips for the review sample.


Deepak said...

Your down to earthness about the non-Martha Stewart type behavior is good to read.

On another note I tried a few of your recipes and am quite pleased with the results.

I think of all the recipes I have tried yours are one of the few that turn out as I expect something should.

Deepak said...

You seem to be more Julia Child than Martha Stewart :-)

Vineetha Sush said...

That's a super thing to gift,.loved that beautiful bottles, I didn't know that lemon extracts were made from rinds and there is no lemon juice at all in it...

Unknown said...

should I send my address to receive that beautiful edible gift ;) oh cookie maker is wonderful, they make so perfect patterns…also i like the idea of recipe calendar that would be wonderful, wish you do it for next year perhaps!

Reflections said...

That cookie press looks GOOD. Put up some recipes for cookie if u can...want to make some for christmas:-)).

And ur picture are awesome....I can just keep looking at them:-)).

Finla said...

I have loads of plans ( foodwise) i want to do and it stays like that. I love this idea though. I have been wanting to do vodka and raspberry in summer which Niv gave the idea and it is months ago i haven't .

Unknown said...

Very beautiful photography.. great job :)

Unknown said...

the cookie press looks amazing.
UK High Street Fashion Blog

Unknown said...

Sounds pretty easy, pic looks stunning Nisha x