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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pure Citrus Oils

Excellent Ingredient of the Week
This week's excellent ingredients are pure citrus oils: lemon, lime, orange, and tangerine. Each one is fantastic and they have tons of uses in cooking baking and making cocktails. They are a bit pricey, but remember you use them by the drop, not by the teaspoon! Different from extracts which are alcohol based and not as strong, pure citrus oils are amazingly flavorful. They must be used with great caution and they must be refrigerated after opening. The most common brand in Boyagians and they are available around town, World Market sometimes has them, you can also buy small bottles on line. Citrus oils are all natural essences cold pressed from the rind of the fruit. It takes approximately 220 oranges, 330 lemons or 400 limes to fill a 5-ounce bottle.

So what do you do with them? Add 2 drops to a pound cake or genoise. Add a few drops to vodka to flavor it. When making dressings or vinaigrette, add a drop or two. I put a drop of orange oil in my carrot soup. The Tangerine extract is great in cocktails and punch or even in some sparkling water. Lemon bars get super lemony and key lime pie gets more intense with a drop lime oil. Good to flavor mousse and frostings giving strong flavor without thinning and weakening the mixture. They are often my secret ingredient!