Wednesday, August 31, 2011

raspberry vinegar

raspberry | photo: BraveNewWorld
Raspberries are coming in to season.  Their fragrant luscious aroma greets me every time I walk into the produce section of my local grocery store.  And their plump juicy red fruit temps me.  I love raspberries and truly miss the raspberry bed I had in Connecticut.  It was stocked with four different varieties each bearing at a different time pretty much ensuring a summer full of fresh flavorful berries.

Sadly the drought here in Texas has done a number to my fruit bushes.  The trees seem to be holding their own but the elderberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and goji berries are all shriveled and I'm not sure they're going to make it.

Raspberries are such a wonderful fruit because not only are they so tasty, they're so versatile.  They go great in fruit salads, eaten fresh, baked into scones or crumbles, on top of oatmeal, in a smoothie, the list goes on.  Plus 1/2 C. provides 4 g. of fiber, over 25% of your DV for vitamin C and just over 20% of your DV for manganese.

One of my favorite, extravagant ways to use raspberries is to make a raspberry vinegar.  This way I can enjoy that fragrant summer flavor all year long.

This is my favorite recipe from Fancy Pantry which is one of my best-loved preserving cookbooks.

Red Raspberry Vinegar

8 C. raspberries, cleaned, rinsed and drained
3 C. white wine vinegar

The recipe calls for the raspberries to be used in two portions.  You can freeze 4 C. for later.
Crush 4 C. raspberries and place them in a sterilized, heatproof 2 quart jar
Add vinegar and and cover the jar
set the jar in a deep saucepan and fill with water to come halfway up the jar
set over medium heat and bring the water to a boil
Reduce the heat and keep the water simmering for 20 minutes
Remove the jar and set aside, uncovered to cool the contents
When cool, add a lid to the jar and set it aside
Shake the jar every day for 2 weeks
Strain the jar to remove old raspberries, it is okay to lightly press the berries to extract all the juice
Crush 4 C. raspberries and pour infused vinegar over them
Repeat the scalding as done above
Let the vinegar rest for two weeks, shaking every day
Strain the vinegar discarding the fruit, it is okay to lightly press the berries to extract all the juice
Line a funnel with an unbleached coffee filter and place in a sterilized bottle
Filter the vinegar into the bottle
Cap or cork the bottle and store in a cool dark pantry

Note: the vinegar may develop sediment as it stands, this is okay but the vinegar can be re-filtered if you wish

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