Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon
How-To

Infusing Liquids with Flavor

Fine Cooking Issue 22
Save to Recipe Box
Print
Add Private Note
Saved Add to List

    Add to List

Print
Add Recipe Note

Anyone who’s ever made a cup of tea has made an infusion— a simple technique for extracting the essence of an ingredient, such as vanilla beans, tea leaves, or cinnamon sticks, to flavor a liquid. I use infusions to flavor crème anglaise and all sorts of custards, béchamel and other savory sauces, ice creams and sorbets, even drinks.

Herbs, dried fruit, nuts, and spices can all be used to make infusions. Steeped in a liquid and then strained out, these seasonings leave their flavor, and sometimes their color, behind.

A hot liquid makes a more flavorful infusion

Combine the liquid, whether it’s milk, cream, sugar syrup, or even soup stock, with the flavoring ingredient over moderate heat. When the liquid is just shy of a boil, remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let the mixture steep until the liquid is richly flavored, usually 30 minutes to an hour. Strain out the flavorings and press on them in the strainer to extract all the liquid. Then use the flavored liquid as directed in your recipe.

Press on the seasonings in the strainer to get every last bit of flavor. The strained, infused liquid is now ready to be used in your recipe.Boyd Hagen

Experiment with flavors

Beyond what the cookbooks call for, you can personalize your recipes by making infusions with a wide range of ingredients. Try some of these:

• Steep fresh lavender, rosemary, or sprigs of thyme in sugar syrup to make a palatecleansing sorbet.

• Flavor milk with tarragon and roasted garlic to make a savory flan.

• Use star anise, lemongrass, and dried chiles to lend an Asian accent to soup stock.

• Make crème anglaise from milk infused with fresh mint and orange zest to serve with chocolate desserts.

• Infuse cream with freshly grated ginger, crushed coffee beans, or toasted pistachios to make an intensely flavored base for ice cream.

• Add lemon zest and fennel seeds to sugar syrup to make a refreshing poaching liquid for fresh fruit.

Comments

Leave a Comment

Comments

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 44%

Already a subscriber? Log in.

Videos

View All

Moveable Feast Logo

Season 4 Extras

Topping, VA (409)

Pete welcomes us to Virginia on this episode of Moveable Feast, where we meet skilled oystermen Ryan & Travis Croxton, as well as chef Dylan Fultineer. Dylan brings Pete to…

View all Moveable Feast recipes and video extras

Connect

Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks