I picked the last of this year's 'Autumn Bliss' raspberries at the weekend and instead of scoffing them as usual, I decided to try making some raspberry vinegar. I eventually plumped for Nigel Slater's recipe via The Guardian. His version uses much less sugar than the others I found and is strained, so it has no pips :)
I substituted cider vinegar for the recipe's white wine vinegar and I steeped the raspberries for 5 days instead of the minimum two. The recipe also calls for a stainless steel saucepan for the cooking stage because the acid from the vinegar will react with aluminium ones. I don't have one, but I found the ceramic pan from my slow cooker was a good substitute.
I only had 250g of raspberries instead of the 450g given in the recipe, so I've adjusted the rest of the ingredients accordingly.
- 250g raspberries (good ones - I found I had to sort through mine to pick out the best)
- 250 ml white wine vinegar (cider vinegar for me - NB the vinegar should be a minimum 5% acetic acid so it'll keep)
- 45g sugar (I used granulated which seems fine)
- Place the raspberries in a stainless steel or glass bowl and crush lightly with a fork or potato masher
- Pour over the vinegar, stir then cover and set aside for at least 2 days (other recipes say 5-7 days)
- Give the fruit an occasional stir
- Drain the fruit through muslin and leave for 2 or 3 hours – longer if you have time (I left it overnight)
- Pour the liquid into a stainless steel saucepan and add the sugar
- Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, scraping off any foam.
- Leave to cool, pour into sterilised bottles (I heated mine in the oven at 100oC for 20 minutes) and store in a cool dark place.
- Leave the vinegar for 2-3 weeks before use. It will last for a year.
What the recipe doesn't mention is the rich ruby red colour of the resultant vinegar, which glows with goodness and promise :)
As well as mixing with olive oil and some crushed black pepper to make a salad dressing, Nigel Slater suggests raspberry vinegar can be poured over ice cream to make a piquant fruity sauce, or over ice and topped up with mineral water or lemonade to make a refreshing drink. It can also be added to a pan to deglaze meat juices.
Some of the other recipes I looked at mention raspberry vinegar is good for soothing coughs. I'm looking forward to this taste of summer helping to beat future winter ills :)
NB next week is Salad Days - I'm looking forward to hearing how you're getting on with your salad growing or eating :)