Thursday, 5 July 2007

Berry Vinegars

Fruit flavoured vinegars are very easy to make and add an elusive taste of summer to salads and other dishes all year long. I plan to make a few different ones this year. I started 2 weeks ago with strawberry vinegar.

Berry Vinegars - maceratingHere is sherry vinegar, with strawberries macerating in it. This is a bit of an experiment. In the past, I have found I prefer cheap ol' plain white vinegar to more expensive wine vinegars as it allows the unobstructed berry flavour to shine through the best. However, I thought strawberries and sherry vinegar would go together well so we shall see.

Straining the Berry Vinegar
The finished vinegar being strained for bottling. In addition to the strainer, I used about 6 layers of cheesecloth which seemed to do a pretty good job at keeping any residue out of the final product. Below; the finished vinegar bottled up and ready for use. There are two kinds; the strawberry-sherry vinegar and plain strawberry vinegar.

3 cups vinegar
2 weeks - 40 minutes prep time

Berry Vinegars - Finished
2 cups strawberries, raspberries or blueberries
2 cups plain white vinegar

Put a quart or litre bottle into a pot with enough water to cover by an inch or so, and bring to a boil. Boil ten minutes.

Meanwhile, wash the berries and hull them, and mash them in non-reactive bowl. Pour over the vinegar. When the jar is sterilized, drain it and put in the strawberry-vinegar mixture. Cap with a lid and ring which have been put in the boiling water for 5 minutes. At this stage it can be a used lid. (Be sure it is in good condition.)

Set in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks.

Strain the vinegar, preferably through several layers of cheesecloth. Put three 250 ml (1 cup/1/2 pint) jars in a pot and cover with water to an inch above the tops. Bring to a boil and boil them for 10 minutes. Remove and drain well. Ladle in the strained vinegar, and cap with new lids and rings. Pop the jars back into the boiling water, and boil for 5 minutes. Let cool and store.

I suspect these little jars of vinegar are acidic enough to be left out once opened, but I keep them in the fridge to be on the safe side.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

This sounds like a nice way of making some fruity salad dressings long after berry season.