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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!


  1. How nice to have a plum tree. Funny story--about 10 years ago, a man from our church brought plums to the "extra blessings" table to share with whoever wanted them. My daughter was about 4 at the time and after she discovered them, she kept going back for more. She didn't want anything to do with the cookies which were being served--it was plums all the way for her. That gentleman has always remembered that. A few weeks ago at church, he brought my daughter a lunch bag filled with his plums! They are the best tasting plums I've ever had. He doesn't get them every year so having a few is such a treat.

    Do you use your flavored vinegars in other ways besides salad dressings? Wondering how else you could use plum vinegar. You are so good at innovative ideas like this.

    1. That's a sweet story, Kris, about your daughter and the plums.

    2. Hi Kris,
      What a very kind and thoughtful gentleman! And too cute about your daughter and those initial plums. Our tree seems to alternate years of fruit, too, as do the apples and pears. It does keep us appreciating what we do get each year.

      I've used flavored vinegar in marinades and in cooking meats like boneless chicken breasts. In the 90s, raspberry vinegar on B/S chicken breasts was sort of popular and what got me started with this cooking method. I think this plum vinegar would be delicious in an Asian plum sauce, used either to coat meat or as a dipping sauce. I'm open to suggestions for how to use flavored vinegars if you come across any ideas.

      Enjoy the weekend, Kris!

    3. It was pretty adorable when she discovered how much she liked the plums, and I gotta say, we have all benefited from that initial experience!

      Lili, I feel like I am constantly discovering cooking techniques which I wish I had learned many years ago! I'm better at baking than cooking but I've tried to up my game with cooking in recent years (I like food .... a lot ....). The plum sauce idea sounds fantastic.

    4. Hi Kris,
      I can totally relate. I always loved baking as a girl, but not so much cooking meals. Baking has delicious and immediate tangible rewards (tasting dough and batter, plus the finished good).
      I've got a recipe for plum sauce that I'll dig up. It uses plum jam as a base, plus vinegar and spices. It's delicious on a simple chicken and vegetables dinner.
      Have a great day, Kris!

  2. Yes, it is time to start thinking about gifts for the holidays. You put together such lovely gifts, I bet you could do a little side business doing that for other people.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      Awww, that's so nice of you to say. Thank you. I'm not sure how I'd turn this into any sort of business. But until I do, I'm happy to share, here, whatever I'm doing that's crafty/creative/gift-able. Have you begun any planning for holiday gifts yet?

      Have a lovely weekend, Live and Learn.

  3. Sounds delicious and very creative! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 🍁🌾🌻

    1. Hi Lona,
      Thank you. I'm looking forward to this vinegar being ready to use. It's already begun to turn a pretty shade of deep pink surrounding the plum slices. I love the emojis you added. Did you just cut and paste them into the comment?

      Enjoy your weekend, Lona!

    2. I responded on my cell phone and used the emojis from my phone.

    3. Hi Lona,
      Of course (palm to forehead moment). I've never had a smart phone and the "emojis" that I can use on my dumb phone are regular keyboard symbols. I do love the cheerful emojis!
      Have a wonderful day, Lona!

  4. I shouldn't be surprised by this use of extra fruit - but you are so resourceful. I look forward to your posts. I know it takes a lot of time and energy, but they are so enjoyed and appreciated. After you drain the fruit out - is it useful for anything? If anyone would have figured out something to do with it, it would be you!

    1. Hi Ruthie,
      So far, I haven't ever done anything with the drained fruit, aside from composting. The texture usually doesn't look very appealing. But the plums really do give a beautiful color and flavor to the vinegar, so I figure I got my effort's worth from them. If I find a way to use the fruit, I'll be sure and let you know.
      Have a lovely day, Ruthie!


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