Almond extract recipe, a concentrated liquid made from bitter almond oil, alcohol, and water, has a strong flavor that goes great in baked goods, especially desserts with citrus or stone fruits. Almond extract is a concentrated liquid made from bitter almond oil, alcohol, and water.
It’s typically used in baking, much like vanilla extract, and a little goes a long way because the flavor is so strong. Many people who like the mildly nutty taste of almonds say they dislike the taste of the almond extract.
That said, some people love it and those people are in good luck because usually, just 1/4 teaspoon is all that’s needed for a good amount of almond flavor, which means it’s unlikely that anyone would run out of almond extract recipe quickly. (Unless you’re in full-on Crescent Cookie mode, in which case, stock up!)
What to Know About Almond Extract Recipe?
Though it may seem like a straightforward ingredient, there’s a lot to learn about almond extract, namely that it might not be made from almonds at all. (Stay with me.) Though they’re known as nuts, almonds are the seed of a fruit. Whereas real nuts are found inside hard shells, seeds, like almonds, grow inside of the fruit.
Ever thought that your peach pit looks awfully like an almond? There’s a reason for that. Almonds, like peaches, are stone fruits. They’re part of the same biological genus known as Prunus, which also includes fruits like plums, apricots, and cherries.
Because many of these stone fruits are used in commercial products like jam or yogurt, their pits, which would otherwise go to waste, are often used to make the almond extract. These pits pass because they contain the same ingredient that accounts for the strong flavor of bitter almond oil: a chemical called benzaldehyde.
Almond extracts typically won’t label the origin of the “almond oil,” so you may not know if you’re getting extract from actual almonds or another stone fruit—and unless you’re a supertaster, you probably won’t be able to tell the difference anyway.
What do The Almond Extract Recipe Tastes Like?
So, what does almond extract—from other stone fruit pits or otherwise—taste like? It’s strong and slightly fruity and basically, you know it when you taste it.
If you’re a fan of marzipan, you’re probably a fan of almond extract. That’s because marzipan, which is a paste made from sugar, almond meal, and honey, is usually also flavored with almond extract or almond oil.
Where to Buy?
Almond extract is ubiquitous at supermarkets—find it in the baking aisle or near the spices. I have also written an article on Almond Chicken a Nutty Twist on a Classic Dish.
How to Store Almond Extract Recipe?
As you should with all extracts, store almond extract in a cool, dry place and make sure it is well-sealed. Ideally, you should use your almond extract within a year. You can get more from this video.
How to Use Almond Extract Recipe?
Now that you know almond extract’s little secret—that it may come from the pits of other stone fruits, or at least that almonds are part of the same family—it should make sense that its flavor profile works well with fruits like peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries, and apricots. If a dessert recipe using one or more of these fruits doesn’t call for almond extract, add in 1/4 teaspoon for an X-factor.
We’ve become conditioned to expect a certain almond flavor. So I always add a little extract when I’m using almond flour. Marzipan, or almond paste (which is the same thing as marzipan with different levels of sugar).
In his Kosher for Passover Rainbow Cookies, even though he uses all almond flour, there still isn’t a lot of that “almondy” flavor that people are looking for—the flavor not of actual almonds but of almond extract. So, he adds a little in to deliver the nostalgic taste people crave.
Blanched, sliced almonds
Measuring Cup (Optional)
First, I filled up my jar about 2/3 of the way with almonds.
Next, I just poured vodka over the almonds until they were completely covered. Easy-peasy.
I added a lid and then gave it a good shake.
Almond Extract Recipe Substitutes
Don’t have almond oil on hand? Or need to avoid it because of an allergy? Although you won’t get the same flavor as you would when using almond extract, vanilla extract is a good stand-in. You could also use an almond-flavored liqueur, like amaretto or orgeat.
If you’re substituting vanilla extract, use two parts vanilla extract for one part almond extract.
If you’re substituting almond-flavored liqueur, use four to eight parts almond-flavored liqueur for one part almond extract. Be mindful if you’re increasing the volume of liquid significantly in a baking recipe, where quantities make a big difference depending on the dessert.
How to Make Your Almond Extract Recipe?
If you want to try your hand at making your almond extract, remember that you don’t have to stick to using almonds, so it can be a great way to use other stone fruit pits that you’d probably just throw away.
I cover 30 apricot pits with a dish towel and, using a hammer, break them open to retrieve the kernel inside. Then I soak the kernels in 2 cups of vodka in a mason jar for up to three months. At the end of three months, refreshes the vodka with new kernels that are kept in the freezer if the flavor isn’t strong enough.
When the flavor is to her liking, she’ll strain the extract through a cheesecloth or coffee filter and store it in a cool, dry place.
Pro-tip (as if this wasn’t one already): If you don’t have 30 apricots in one sitting, you can freeze the pits for later use.
Or try making this recipe for Orgeat, an almond-flavored liqueur that’s used in a lot of tiki cocktails and can serve as a stand-in for the extract.
Have you made any extracts at home? Which have you made? There are so many you can make and I love how simple and frugal they are! I will continue to add to the post the updates on both the vanilla and almond extracts!
As the active compounds present in bitter almonds and their essential oil are toxic, they should never be used for infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly, or people with serious illnesses.
To make your non-alcoholic extracts, just substitute the alcohol called for in any extract recipe with three parts food-grade liquid glycerin and one part water. Stir the two ingredients together until well combined.
Use almond extract in your baking or whip it into toppings and fillings. It’s complimentary with most pitted fruits; you’ll often find almond extract used in cherry, apricot, and peach desserts.