Picking raspberries is best done on a dry day. We didn’t have many of those in August and I lost a couple of pickings because they started to grow mould in the fridge much faster than I anticipated. I’m not much of a jam eater or cake maker and with no room in the freezer to delay decision making I opted for a savoury option: ruby red raspberry vinegar.
I’m a great fan of sour tastes and really love this. It’s fab for creating a fruity tangy salad dressing or as a simple dip with olive oil for fresh crusty bread. I’ve added it to my ‘favourites‘ list for home-made culinary gifts. And did I say just how easy it is to make? The hardest part is not dipping your finger in for a taste every time you lift the lid to give it a stir!
I turned to my favourite River Cottage Preserves Handbook for a raspberry vinegar recipe and began with Pam’s quantities of 100g raspberries to 60ml vinegar. When it came to adding the sugar though I was quite shocked by the 75g sugar per 100ml fruit vinegar ratio. I wanted a little balsamic-like sweetness to offset the sharpness of the vinegar but opted for a much lower sugar content (more like 10g sugar to 100ml fruit vinegar).
- Crush the raspberries.
- Pour on white wine or cider vinegar (60ml per 100g fruit).
- Cover and leave to steep for 5 days stirring occasionally.
- Strain off the liquid through a jelly bag or piece of muslin suspended over a bowl.
- Measure liquid and pour into a saucepan. Add sugar according to taste.
- Bring gently to the boil stirring gently until the sugar dissolves.
- Boil for 8-10 minutes removing any scum as it rises.
- Remove from heat and leave to cool. Bottle when cold. Use within 12 months.