Prep 20 mins
Cook 2 hrs
Easy to make extract turns the zest of 12 limes into the flavor equivalent of about 60 limes and won't leave bits of zest in your pie, pudding, punch, etc. It also has the benefit of storing much better than zest alone. Stored in a refrigerator this extract will maintain its emerald color and pure key-lime flavor longer. The zested limes can be juiced and the juice can be used immediately or frozen in an ice cube tray for later use; about 3 limes makes 1 cube of juice. One tsp of extract is enough to flavor 2 or 3 cups of liquid, or to replace 1 tsp of fresh zest in a recipe. For those worried about the alcohol content; the alcohol in this extract when used in a proportion of 1 tsp extract to 2 cups of liquid is less than that of 2 tsp vanilla extract in 3 cups liquid (a normal amount used in ice cream for instance). Cooking time includes extraction time and filtering time.
- 12 key limes
- 1⁄4 cup Everclear alcohol
- 2 tablespoons Everclear alcohol
- Using a microplane, remove the zest from the limes.
- Using a funnel, add the lime zest and 1/4 cup Everclear to a small sealable glass bottle.
- Allow the alcohol to extract the flavor from the zest, about an hour is adequate (you will see the liquid turning a beautiful emerald green color).
- Strain the liquid from the zest into another bottle.
- Add the remaining 2 Tb Everclear to the zest and mix well, then strain the rinse into the previous liquid.
- Discard the exhausted zest.
- Cut 4 inches from a clean nylon stocking and pack tightly into the bottom of a small funnel to act as a filter.
- Pour the extract into the funnel, with the nozzle in a clean sealable bottle (this is the final bottle to be used for storing the extract).
- The packed nylon will filter the cloudy particulates from the extract, it will be slow but you need not be present for the extract to filter-you should see about 2 drops per second.
- Keep the funnel covered until the extract has passed through it to minimize evaporation.
- Seal the bottle and store in a refrigerator or other cool, dark place.