Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Recipe: Homemade Strawberry Vinegar

Life is like wine, the longer you take to enjoy it the more chance you've got of tasting vinegar. – Anonymous

Yes, you can use frozen berries to make flavoured vinegar!
Photo: sierravalleygirl, Flickr ccl
Don’t fear that it’s too late to make Holiday gifts that evoke the taste of summer. This ones a perfect example.

If you’re making food gifts that require presentation of the fruit you have to be careful to deal in seasonal items. Under or overripe is certainly not the way you want to be remembered.

But if you’re in the market for making Strawberry liqueur (I have posted 2 recipes) or this Strawberry Vinegar then using frozen berries has a lot of merit. Actually any of the “mush ‘em up and strain them” kind of recipes are great using frozen fruit. Frozen fruit usually costs less as well. Another bonus.

Flavoured vinegar can be quite pricey.
250 ml can cost in the range of $17-$20 USD.
Photo: checkmihlyrics, Flickr ccl
There’s only one caution: sometimes frozen berries can be a little more sour than fresh, so act accordingly with your sugar. Taste and adjust, taste and adjust...

This wonderful elixir can be used as the start of some amazing vinaigrettes, or can even be used “as is” on fruit or salad greens. I'm sure there are a thousand other uses as well.

Try your own variations using other frozen fruits or even mixes of fruit for something really unique. I have had amazing success with frozen raspberries in a raspberry champagne vinegar.

The trick to making vinegars that last on the shelf is to pay attention to your pH. Acidic mixtures will stay preserved longer than more neutral. There’s a handy website that gives the pH of common foods so you know what you’re dealing with. 0-6 is acidic; 7 is neutral; 8-14 is base.

Strawberry Vinegar
Time: 5 days  |  Yield: about 1250 ml
1 lb (454 g) frozen strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 L (4.25 cups) red wine vinegar

Thaw the berries in a bowl. After they’re thawed, mash them lightly with the sugar. Stir in the vinegar and cover well with plastic wrap. Let sit for 5 days.

Strain well using a cloth lined sieve and decant into sterile bottles. The vinegar should last unrefrigerated for at least 6 months.


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