Almond extract is easy and cheap to make at home – it just takes some time! You can use almonds to make homemade almond extract or something that you’d usually throw away: fruit stones!
In the past, fruit stones – such as apricot pits, peach kernels and cherry pits – were often used to flavor custard, cake or compote. Real almond extract – also called noyaux – is made with fruit stones. But apricot pits etc. contain a form of cyanide – so if you’re worried about it just make homemade almond extract with almonds!
You can use homemade almond extract to flavor ice cream, cocktails, cakes, cookies, compotes and desserts.
Homemade Almond Extract With Apricot Pits
Apricot kernels are used to flavor amaretto, marzipan and almond extract. Apricot kernels are the seeds found inside the pits (stones) of apricots. They look like little almonds but they’re bitter and shouldn’t be eaten raw because they contain amygdalin which turns into cyanide inside the body. But almond extract with apricot kernels is safe to eat after cooking or baking: Heat destroys amygdalin. (More about it here and here.) Many foods that we consume daily contain amygdalin: curants and raspberries, sprouts, cashews and macadamia nuts, beans and lentils – all contain amygdalin (source). And salt with anticaking agents contains cyanide too (source).
- 1/2 cup apricot pits – you can also use peach pits, nectarine pits, plum pits or cherry pits
- 1 cup vodka
Wash and dry the apricot pits. When you’ve gathered enough, crack the pits open. Some say to use a hammer or vise but I used a nutcracker to crack the pits which was easier than I feared – like cracking almonds. Roughly chop the apricot kernels and put them in a glass jar. Cover them with vodka and seal the jar tightly. Store the homemade almond extract in a cool and dark place, shaking the jar occasionally. Homemade noyaux is ready for use after 2 or 3 months. Don’t use too much of the extract and use it only for cooked or baked goods, such as custard, cakes and cookies.
Homemade Almond Extract With Almonds
Homemade almond extract with almonds doesn’t contain cyanide (amygdalin).
- 1 cup almonds, blanched
- 1 cup vodka
- 1 vanilla bean, split
Chop the almonds coarsely with a sharp knife. Combine all ingredients for the homemade almond extract in a glass jar. Add more vodka if necessary so that all almonds are covered. Seal the jar tightly and store it in a cool and dark place, shaking the jar occasionally. Homemade almond extract is ready for use after 2 or 3 months.
If you’re hooked now, peach leaves taste of bitter almonds too! ‘A peach leaf, infused with milk when it is scalded for custard, will give the flavor of noyau.’ (The Century Cook Book, 1895)
More Homemade Extracts
26 thoughts on “Homemade Almond Extract – With Almonds Or Apricot Pits”
Nice! I’ve been a baker for years and never thought of making my own extract. Thanks for this recipe! Pinned it, I definitely want to try it. Found it at Wall to Wall DIY.
Thanks for pinning, Catherine! 🙂 I’m glad you like it!
Happy to have found this recipe. I added it to my Natural board on Pinterest.
I love using almond extract in baked goods. I am going to try this today!
Thank you, Laurie!
I love making my own extracts and giving them as gifts. Found you on Blogger’s Pit Stop Link Party.
Thanks for stopping by, Candy!
Lina how interesting- I never even considered doing something like this – I’m guessing I could make any kind of extract in this way?! Thanks for sharing at Fiesta Friday- I’ll come back and look around a bit more when I’m not co-hosting! 😀
Thanks for stopping by! Yes, you can make other extracts in this way: I’ve made vanilla extract before and lemon and peppermint is on my list.
I had no idea how easy making extracts could be. Thank you.
Thank you, Terri!
Oh I never considered what went into almond extract or making my own. So interesting. Thanks for the inspiration xx
Thanks, Maria! 🙂
I did’t know you could eat apricot pits! Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party – hope your week is fabulous!
Thanks for stopping by, Helen! Have a fabulous week too!
they have cyanide, DO NOT EAT like nuts!!!! yickes
You learn something new everyday! I make vanilla extract but never thought about making almond extract and never knew you could make it with apricot pits! So glad you shared your post on the What’s For Dinner party!
Thanks, Nancy! 🙂
Do you think you can use a combination of almond and apricot pits.
Yes, you can use a combination of almonds and apricot pits. 🙂
I made amaretto by first soaking almonds and apricot pits in vodka for a month, not thinking about the toxicity of the apricot pits . Now I do not know if even 1 cordial glass of the amaretto is safe to drink ?
Sorry, I don’t know if it’s safe to drink it raw. I only make this extract for cooking and baking because heat destroys amygdalin.
If you roast the apricot nibs before soaking them in the alcohol, will this kill the amygdala? I was wondering if doing this would make the extract safe to use in unbaked food products
According to this blog, roasting stone fruit seeds destroys the amygdalin.