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Friday, 8 July 2016

Something for nothing Raspberry or Fruit Vinegars

On the QT I can be a bit of a tight wad and I do object to paying through the nose for things so another thing to look out for in the reduced counter is any form of soft fruit especially raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, redcurrants etc.  These items tend to be pricy at the best of times but every so often if you keep your eyes peeled you can score a bargain.  If there is not enough to do much with take it home and freeze it and accumulate your fruit until you have enough to do something with.

I am on this occasion focusing in on Raspberries and Raspberry vinegar in particular.  I am very partial to this condiment especially on a goats cheese salad during the winter months and the colour just tend to cheer up a dreary grey day.  It is easily made and this particular recipe comes from Thane Princes' book Preserves Pickles and Cures which is a very interesting book.  The reason I have chosen this recipe is because of the small quantity of berries needed compared to a traditional recipe - which does provide more bottles at the end of the day.  However as I have said if you spot a bargain in the reduced counter this is something that is easily made for relatively nothing and we all like that idea.  Fruit vinegars to buy commercially are a little pricey but they are relatively easy to make. 

It is pretty simple to make and done literally in a few minutes with a bit of waiting in-between.  A wonderful way of livening up your salads a little and fresh or frozen fruit can be used.

You will need:

A medium sized bowl or a large pickled onion sized jar

115g/4oz/ 3/4 of cup of fresh or frozen Raspberries
2-3 tablespoons caster sugar
250ml/9floz/scant 1 1/4 cup white wine vinegar.
Makes approximately 300ml/10 floz

Method:

Mix the ingredients together mashing the fruit into the vinegar.  Put the mix into a jar and leave for 2 to 3 days.  If using a bowl make sure that it is covered with cling film.  Shake the jar or stir the blow daily from time to time or whenever you are passing.  This helps blend the ingredients together.

After a few days strain through muslin and then decant into a bottle or bottles that have been warmed through and sterilised.  Seal and pop on your pantry shelf ready for use.  If a sweeter vinegar is required extra sugar can be added to taste.

Traditionally Raspberry vinegar was used as a refreshing drink like a cordial and then topped up with water.

I shall certainly make a blackberry version of this once the berries are out and about.

This would also make a nice addition to a home made Christmas hamper for family or friends at Christmas.

So next time you see some Raspberries looking lonely in the reduced cabinet - snap them up and make this.  Often people leave things lurking because they are not sure what to do with them but checking out the reduced cabinet can and does pay dividends.

Catch you later.

Pattypan

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