2013-12-28 - Vinegar

Fruit Scrap Vinegar Season

Fruit Scrap Vinegar: Apple, Pineapple, Golden Plum, Mixed Fruits, Blackberry

I love fruit scrap vinegar. Since discovering that I can turn peels, cores, and squishy bits of overripe fruit into delicious vinegar, I’ve been giving in to my desire for more, more, more. It makes great salad dressing, it’s delicious over steamed vegetables, truly it works well in any recipe that calls for vinegar. The flavor and fragrance of the fruit comes through in each batch.  Transform your autumn fruit waste into vinegar to spice up your winter foods.

Make your own:

  • Fill a large glass jar with fresh, clean water.
  • Add 1/4 cup of honey or the sugar of your choice for each Liter of water. Stir until completely dissolved
  • Add fruit scraps. Use whatever you’ve got, peels, cores, and whole fruit. Chop up big things such as apples, leave small things such as berries whole. Add at least a couple of handfuls of fruit for rich flavor and color.
  • Cover the jar’s open mouth with a clean cheesecloth and use a rubber band or string to hold it in place. This will keep out flies and let in the wild yeast you want
  • Set the jar in a dark spot to protect it from the light.
  • Stir the jar every day and check to make sure the fruit is submerged. Don’t worry about yeasty white growth on top; scrape off any other colors of mold and toss that  into your compost bin
  • After a week or so, or whenever the liquid has darkened and everything is smelling nice and boozy, strain the liquid to remove the fruit. I use a doubled cheesecloth to remove all of the big pieces and most of the small pieces. Compost the fermented fruit
  •  Pour this strained liquid back into its original jar, replace the cheesecloth on top, and let it sit for another week or two. When it smells and tastes like vinegar, it’s ready. Put a solid lid on the jar to keep it from evaporating, store at room temperature, and enjoy
  • If you see a translucent growth in the liquid, either a blob or strands, be happy. This is your Mother Vinegar, and it can be used to start another bottle of vinegar or just left to live where it is. The mother is proof that you did it, you cultured your own vinegar

I find it encouraging that there is still enough wild yeast and beneficial bacteria in our air and on the skins of our fruits to turn fruit scraps, sweetness, and water into something so tasty and healthy.

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