Thursday, July 24, 2008

Raspberry Vinegar Recipe

Yesterday I made raspberry vinegar.

Raspberry vinegar is a deliciously refreshing cordial that is full of antioxidants and is beneficial for the digestion and the heart. My recipe is especially good for you as it doesn't use white sugar. Stir a few tablespoons of this vibrant red liquid into a glass of water, or for a special treat, add to carbonated or tonic watter; but be careful, it fizzes like a mad thing.

After many an hour searching through the old books and home economic texts, I have yet to find a recipe for raspberry vinegar that I am happy with or that I can eat. So I made my own which I will share with you here. It's not vegan friendly, however, if you substitute the sugar for the honey, or some other vegan friendly sweetener, it would work. Also note, I love sour things these days; if you have more North American tastes (as opposed to an old world love of intense flavour), double the sweetener.

First I juiced the berries (about one ice cream bucket full).

I'm lucky because I have this old style, gentle juicer. If you are doing this at home, don't put it through your electric juicer, it will crush the seeds and make a bitter taste. Instead, put it in a bowl and take a potato masher to it. Then strain the juice through two layers of muslin cloth to separate the seeds. Keep the juice, plant the seeds in your neighbour's (or yours) garden to see if it grows into raspberries at some later date. I don't know if it would work as most berry seeds grow better when processed through a digestive track, but it's worth a try.

Measure the juice (about 4 cups in my case) and put it in a large pot. Combine with equal parts apple cider vinegar (red wine vinegar also works, but it's no where near as good. And besides, apple cider is also one of the most healthy vinegars we can get our hands on these days) and 1/4 the amount of honey. In my case:

4 cups juice,

4 cups apple cider vinegar,

1 cup honey (double if you prefer something sweeter)

Stir well and put on the stove at low heat and slowly bring to a simmer (not boil) (took about an hour on my stove), stirring frequently and skimming off any froth that forms on the top.

The froth is quite bitter and the taste that is most desirable in raspberry vinegar is a sour and slightly sweet, refreshing taste. It's really worth it to take the time to prevent bitterness from infecting your concoction.

Once it begins to simmer, turn off heat, place in sterile canning jars leaving half an inch (or about 1.5 cm) space at the top, place lids on top, and heat process for 10-15 minutes. Like any canning, once you take them out of the caner or processing pot, let them stand on the counter top for 24 hours. If the tops have gone down, you can label them and they will keep in the cupboard for no more than two years. And as always, follow good canning procedure to ensure that you do not poison yourself and your loved ones.

If you don't want to can the vinegar, you can keep it in the fridge for about one month in a tightly sealed jar.

One more note: the contents of the the vinegar may separate slightly in the jar, just give it a shake before you use it to remind the raspberries and vinegar to get along.


1 comment:

Josiane said...

Thanks for sharing your recipe, it sounds awesome! I definitely have to give it a try.