Saffron Extract is an easy way to get the most out of this precious and expensive spice. Since it can take from 10-15 minutes for saffron threads to infuse into hot water, making an extract beforehand is both a time-saver and helps to distribute the flavor better.
In a small, clean mortar, put a big pinch of saffron threads (maybe 1/2 gram, or 1 teaspoon) along with a pinch or two of sugar. Grind them with the pestle until powdered. Then put into a glass bottle/jar and pour a small amount, around ¼ cup, of very hot (but not quite boiling) water. Let it infuse for 10 minutes, and use in your tea, rice dishes, desserts, and so many other places! The extract will keep for up to a week in your refrigerator.
For tea: add small amounts (¼ to ½ teaspoon of the extract) to your cup of already-brewed tea.
For rice: Add about 1 tablespoon of the extract to the cooking water for each cup of dry rice. If you want more saffron flavor, you can add a little more after the rice is cooked.
Desserts: Add to taste to sweet pastries, ice cream recipes, puddings, Turkish delight, Easter bread, cakes and cookies.