I’ve been patiently waiting to publish this post.
Some things, good things, take time to reach their optimum level of perfection.
This would be one such thing.
Vinegars take time to age & mature. You can’t just dump ingredients into water & expect it to become miraculous over night. The microbes & magic need their time to work, & they really do take their slow, sweet, leisurely time!
I can tell you how this all came about though. Mel & I have been hired over at a boutique hotel on our island (Syros) to be the amazing in house chefs. I’ve got the morning shift, serving up breakfast, brunch & pastries… & Mel is on dinner & cocktail duty. Seriously, we’re the magnificent cooking duo & we got hired as a team!
Can you tell I’m stoked?
Any way, in the process of designing the menu (all food items were done by a michelin-star chef, all cocktails & desserts will be by Mel & I) the chef designing the menu asked me to whip up a pear vinegar to be incorporated into the menu….
So here it is. The fruits of my labor (so to speak).
– 1Kg pear scraps (skins & cores), chopped
– 200g apple scraps, chopped
– 18g (2 tbs) black pepper corns
– 1 sprig of thyme
– 60ml (0.25 cups) apple cider vinegar
– 2 tbs raw honey
– 200g (1 cup) sugar
– 4 lt (16 cups//1 gallon) water
1. leave the pear & apple scraps out for an hour to dry & turn brown.
2. place the pear, apple, black pepper, thyme & apple cider vinegar in a large jar that fits at least 5lt of fluid (or divide everything evenly between several jars)
3. in a large pot, place the honey, sugar & water. Heat until the sugar & honey have completely dissolved. Do not heat any longer.
4. pour the sugar water into the jar containing the fruit & spices. Cover the jar with a piece of cloth secured with a rubber band. Store in a cool dark place for 2 months.
5. the mixture should be gently stirred once a day. NEVER use anything with metal to stir it. In fact, never let metal come into contact with it.
6. once the vinegar has aged sufficiently, strain out all the bits & bottle the liquid up nicely. Again, you don’t want to use anything with metal as it will rust & spoil the vinegar.
*** for the pear/apple scraps, either save them over time as you eat the fruit & just freeze them until you have enough. Or, I usually buy a couple kilos of fresh pears, chop them up for the freezer. I can pull them out at any point later on & use them in baking, cooking, or for smoothies. ***
*** the vinegar “mother” (the gelatinous disc that has formed in the bottom of the jar) can be stored in the fridge & used to start new vinegars. ***
……..for a full history of our recipes, check out our archives. For the more sensitive tummies, check out our gluten-free archives….. and if you’re just interested in something pretty, check out our designed page.