Thursday, December 22, 2011

Booze of the day: Crème de Fraise Liqueur (Strawberry “cream”)

It is not well for a man to pray cream and live skim milk. – Henry Ward Beecher 

The end result is very "creamy." Regular strawberry liqueur is quite clear.
There is no cream in this recipe. This is my second foray into the world of “whey” infused liqueurs. It is certainly something I am going to continue.

After 4 weeks. The one on the right is foamy because
I had just shaken the jar.
My first attempt was for Peanut Cream liqueur (here). What I assumed was that the whey would add a creaminess to the finished product that normal sugar syrup wouldn’t impart. I was right.

Since I had lots of leftover whey from making goat cheese (see posts here and here) I had to figure out ways to use this valuable stuff.

Whey is the residue remaining from the first separation of curds from milk. Often it is re-separated to render ricotta, or used for many purposes in the kitchen and more. For example it can be used to start bread or to water plants, to name but two. It is full of vitamins, probiotics and minerals.

I have made strawberry liqueur successfully many times, so I thought that would be a good candidate to try as a “crème.” I knew what a proper result was supposed to be.

The result is not as clear as the original. One would expect that as whey is translucent. The whey adds a fantastic “mouth appeal” that isn’t in the original. I strongly suggest you add this one to your repertoire, as well as the original.

If you don’t want to make cheese per se, buy a 1 L container of plain yogurt and drain it through a cloth lined strainer overnight. The resulting liquid is whey, and you also get a tasty thick yogurt that can be used as a spread much like cream cheese.

Crème de Fraise Liqueur
Highly unappetizing looking but exactly correct.
Approx. 1.25 L   |  15% alc. vol.
454-500 g frozen sliced strawberries
2-1/2 cups vodka
1 cup whey (from making cheese)
1 cup sugar
2 1 L Mason jars

Thaw the strawberries and keep any collected juice with the berries. Divide the berries and juice and place in Mason jars. If it’s not exact that’s OK. You mix it all together after steeping.

Add 1-1/4 cup of vodka to each jar.

Bring the whey and sugar to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes to make a simple syrup.

Pour half of the syrup into each jar with the vodka, cover and shake well.

Let steep for 4 weeks. During that time the berries will leech almost all their colour and turn pale. Don’t worry. This is what is supposed to happen. Shake the jars fairly often during the four weeks infusion.

After steeping, strain out the berries. Squeeze the fruit slightly to extract some juice. Restrain through a double layer of fine cloth to remove residual sediment. Do NOT squeeze the liquid in this step.

Makes 3 x 305 ml bottles plus a good sized glass to enjoy.


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