Thanks so much to Annie for allowing me to do a guest post on her blog! I’m happy to be here and share the good things in life with her readers!
Raspberries have been a favorite since childhood. Even as a little girl, I knew that when I had my own home, raspberries would be at the top of the list. Not only are the fruits delicious, but they grow well even in cold climates, which is a double-bonus for northern folks! While I don’t own land (or a cottage) yet, I am part of a community farm with a wonderful raspberry patch, from which my man and I get a full harvest each year. I’ve been promised I can dig my own starts from these bushes when we do purchase land! Oh yes, that excites me! And at that point, I’ll be refreshing my mind with Annie’s blog post on how to grow and care for raspberries!
In my mind, no summer is complete without these red, luscious fruits! When harvest season rolls around, I have a difficult time actually using them. A winter freezer without whole, frozen raspberries is like a bank account without money! I usually talk myself into sacrificing half the berries for a few cordials, a batch or two of raspberry kvass, mini-jars of delicious jam and of course, raspberry vinegar!
With this fermented liquid, brilliancy of color is equally matched by brilliancy of flavor. And the salad dressing you can make with the finished product is lovely. Because good things are meant to be shared, I’m going to share my favorite raspberry vinegar recipe with you today! The recipe makes approximately 7 C of the finished product. Both fresh and frozen berries are viable options. If using frozen fruit, be sure to thaw before beginning the process. Hint: making vinegar from frozen raspberries in early spring while snow blankets the earth is a wonderful way to curb the garden itch!
Raspberry Vinegar with Honey
- 4 C raspberries (x 3)
- 6 C chlorine-free water (x 3)
- 1/2 C raw honey
- glass jar or bowl
- 2 finely-woven cloths
Directions: place 4 C raspberries in a glass jar or bowl. Add approximately 6 C water. Cover the mouth of container with a cloth and secure to keep fruit flies out.
After 24 hrs have passed, place a second cloth in a colander and place colander over a bowl. Pour berries and liquid into cloth-lined colander, straining the liquid. Tie up the ends of cloth and hang from a kitchen cupboard, allowing juices to drip into the bowl for several hours.
When dripping has ceased, toss berries or save for morning smoothies. Place another 4 C of new raspberries in the container or jar. Take the strained, red raspberry water and pour over fruit.
Let it also set for 24 hrs. Strain as instructed above and toss the old berries. On day 3, repeat the process by pouring twice-infused liquid over another 4 C fresh fruit, once again letting it stand for 24 hrs. Strain liquid for the 3rd time.
In a glass jar, bowl or in a crock, add 1/2 honey (crystallized or liquid), then add the deep red, raspberry-infused liquid. Come back 24 hrs later and stir honey. It will quickly dissolve. Be sure to cover the open-mouthed container with a cloth, tightly tying down to keep fruit flies out. The aroma of fermented fruit is certain to attract them!
Vinegar ferments best in temperatures of 60-70F (15-21C). Let it sit without a lid for 2-5 months. When fermentation begins, you’ll see tiny bubbles on the sides of the glass. Several weeks later, it will smell slightly sour. The process to completion will take several months. Be aware that if you seal up vinegar while its still in the fermenting phase, pressure will build and explode glass jars and bottles! Error on the side of caution: if you must seal it up, be sure to check for pressure 2 days later! If free from pressure build-up, vinegar is done processing and has gone “flat.” It’s delicious, ready to use immediately.
Autumn Rose is an author, blogger and chronic Lyme survivor. She is passionate about bringing nutrition into her home and for this reason cooks from scratch, gardens and practices raw food preservation. She loves old fashioned living and leads what she refers to as the simple cottage life. Together, she and her husband are working to implement this lifestyle while saving to purchase land. There, they hope to build their own cottage and lead a life focused on what really matters most. Her tutorials, writing and musings can be found on her blog hopeforbetterliving.com.