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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Making Plum Vinegar

Our Italian Prune tree has gifted us with so many ripe plums this year. In the last two weeks, we've eaten copious amounts of fresh plums and open-faced plum pies. And I've been making plum jam, plum chutney, and dried prunes to enjoy in winter. Today, I started a batch of plum-infused vinegar. I make most of our salad dressings from scratch, so it goes without saying that we use a lot of vinegar in our kitchen. I vary my homemade vinaigrettes by using a variety of flavored vinegars, from herb and chive blossom vinegars to fruity, berry vinegars. 

This plum vinegar is made with white vinegar and fresh, ripe plums. I've used regular distilled vinegar, as that is what I had. In an ideal world, I'd use a white wine vinegar for clearer flavor. 

This is how I made my plum vinegar:

  • After washing the plums, I pitted and sliced them. For each pint jar, I used 1 cup of sliced, fresh plums. 
  • I filled the jars with the plum slices, then poured vinegar over all to the fill line on the jars. I capped with a plastic lid and put away to infuse in a dark cupboard for about 6 weeks. I'll check the vinegar level after a day and top off if needed. (Sometimes there are air pockets between the plum slices that I miss when filling the jars with vinegar.)
  • In 6 weeks' time, I'll strain the fruit out of the vinegar, add a pinch or two of sugar to sweeten and intensify the plum taste, and pour into bottles. That's it!

This is the time of year to be thinking about handmade gift-ables for the holiday season. Fruit-infused vinegar is so easy to make, yet so lovely to receive. A pretty bottle of flavored vinegar tied up with a bow and left on a neighbor's front porch in December would be a treat for the eye as well as the palette.

I hope all is well with you. I think about you all daily and wish I could be connecting with you more often. The harvest should be winding down dramatically in the next couple of weeks. Enjoy the rest of your day!

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