If you have a thing for desserts, then you must love the sweet and citrus taste of orange in an Orange Meringue Pie or an Orange Pound Cake. Orange extract is one of the main ingredients responsible for this flavor, mostly in desserts. It has a unique taste and a versatile flavor. And, if you love baking, you will certainly need this in your kitchen.
Sometimes, it is tough to find orange extract in stores. Moreover, it is always not feasible to make at home. So, if you know about these ten marvelous substitutes, you don’t have to stress over it.
What Is Orange Extract?
Orange extract is made by soaking the fruit or orange zest in alcohol to extract the fragrant and flavorful orange oil.
The added alcohol (the industry minimum is 33% of alcohol) gives a fantastic flavor to the orange extract, and the sweet smell of orange makes it a magical ingredient.
The alcohol burns while baking or cooking, which adds an extra dash of taste and flavor. The added alcohol makes orange extract self-stable, so an airtight and closed bottle can last for many years.
Orange extract is sold in the market by various brands. Of course, you can also prepare it at home, but it is time-consuming. Hence, you might want to read on to know about the best alternatives for it.
How To Use Orange Extract?
As mentioned above, orange extract can be used in desserts, and in making cakes. If you have guests around, or are planning to add a little touch to your mundane dishes, you can add it to salad dressings, poultry, or vegetable dishes.
How much should you use?
One teaspoon of orange extract equals one teaspoon of freshly grated orange peel or one tablespoon of orange liqueur. Once you add the orange extract, stir it well into the batter or dough to get an amazing orange-kissed taste.
How to use it?
- Add it to your baking batter for the flavorful taste.
- Mix it with cocoa or tea.
- Use it to flavor compound butter, marinades, syrups, chutney, or sauces. It can be used with carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, or beans.
- Add it to poultry dishes to bring out the added flavor.
- To make it more potent, you can add the fresh ingredients, like squeezing a little orange juice along with the extract.
How to store it?
Orange extract is stored in dark bottles, away from direct heat or sunlight. You can keep it at room temperature or in the refrigerator for almost a year.
Since orange extract is like an ultimate flavor facilitator; you cannot miss adding it to your dishes whenever required. So, if you do not have it handy, these ten substitutes are just perfect for the purpose.
Orange extract is not known to have any significant health benefits. It is safe to be consumed by kids as well. However, it has some skincare benefits, like reducing sunburn, blemishes, and dark spots.
In addition, you can use it to prevent acne and scarring.
What Are The Ten Amazing Substitutes That Can Replace Orange Extract?
- Orange Zest: This is definitely one of the best substitutes. It is nothing but the orange-colored portion of the orange peel. Often, people get confused that this is the entire orange peel. But, it is not. Orange peel consists of the zest and the pith. So, you must scrap out the zest, and discard the white pith. It might be less sour than orange extract, so you might have to add extra. Orange extract is itself made from orange zest.
- Orange Liqueur: This is an alcoholic drink with added herbs and flavors. The main part is the bittersweet taste, which makes it a good substitute for orange extract. The main two brands that market orange liqueur are Grand Marnier and Cointreau. The cost and availability might be a concern in procuring it.
- Orange Oil: Also known as the orange essential oil, this is made by extracting the oil from the rind of an orange. The oranges used are from the sweet orange trees found in China. Bitter orange oil is also available. It is a great alternative, and also adds a glossy texture to the food due to the presence of oil. The oil mixes well with the other ingredients as well. 2 or 3 drops are enough to match the flavor of the orange extract. It is widely available and a cheaper option as well.
- Orange Marmalade: This is definitely a delicious substitute for orange extract as it has both a sweet and sour taste. Marmalades have a thick consistency like jams. To get a more sour taste, add an extra quantity if required. It has the same sugar content as orange extract, but it is less acidic.
- Orange Juice: This is the most popular, readily available, and closed alternative for orange extract. It is made by squeezing or crushing valencia, navel, or blood oranges. You can extract using a food processor or get ready-made ones from the market. It has to be added in large quantities to bring out the right flavor.
- Tangerine: This is a citrus hybrid between a pomelo and mandarin orange. It has a stronger taste than other types of oranges. Besides being a good alternative for orange extract, tangerine peel is used to treat indigestion, asthma, and liver diseases. It can be used in drinks, baked items, desserts, and sauces due to its tart and sweet taste. The peel is used in popular Chinese dishes like the Szechuan and Orange chicken.
- Clementine: This is the North American variety of mandarin orange, and is known for its acidic taste, and the sweet, juicy flavor. It is a good source of Vitamin C, which is beneficial in reducing inflammation. They are smaller than oranges and have thinner skin. It can be used in sauces, desserts, cakes, glazes, and marinades as a substitute for orange extract.
- Mandarin Orange: It is a smaller and citrus variety of orange with loose skin, making it easy to peel. It has a sweet taste and a rough texture. Because of its strong aroma and flavor, it is readily used instead of orange extract. They are used to make salad dressings, teas, jams, and potpourri.
- Meyer Lemon: It is a sweet hybrid between a regular lemon and a mandarin orange with a soft and smooth texture. It has a sweet, floral flavor, with a tint of acidity. It is used in salad dressings, sauces, salads, baking delicacies, desserts, and marinades. The zest and juice are mostly used in replacing orange extract because of the sweet and sour taste.
- Bergamot Orange: Bergamot orange is a citrus fruit from the Citrus bergamia plant. It is like an orange in size and lime in color. There is a combination of the sour taste of both in it. Although the flavor is not too similar, it is worth trying it as an alternative to orange extract. It is used in salad dressings, cookies, pastries, sauces, and seafood marinades.
Which are the best ones among these?
Among the substitutes discussed above, the best alternative is orange juice. The next in line would be the orange zest and orange liqueur.
Other oranges, like clementine, bergamot, etc., work as good alternatives. However, if you can get your hands on any of these, then opt for other fruits like lemon or citrus extracts.
All these reliable alternatives mix perfectly with desserts and cakes to bring out the citrus taste. It is also used in jams, fruit salads, cookies etc. They add flavor to baking dishes and beverages.
So, if you go bonkers about baking, you ought to know about the alternatives for orange extract to avoid missing out on the right flavor for your dish.