Sunday, 7 October 2012

Seasonal Eating: Cambridge Raspberries

September's top find was a lovely batch of second-season raspberries from Cambridge market. I decided to bottle the pink summer berries as vinegar to use later in the autumn, when I need to remember the sweet end-of-summer taste of fresh local fruits. When the cold evenings really start to draw in, I'll turn my attention to cosy nights in making jam. For now, a pretty little bottle of deep pink cooking vinegar to add to sauces, gravy and marinades is my recipe of the season...
I used:
About 350g fresh raspberries - grown and sold in Cambridge
350ml Aspall white wine vinegar
60-80g caster sugar
Large square of jam muslin
Stainless steel pan
Glass preserve bottles from Lakeland
What to do:
1. Place the raspberries in a bowl and mash lightly with a fork.
2. Add the white wine vinegar and stir.
3. Cover with cling film and leave for 2 days, stirring occasionally. Make sure you keep the bowl somewhere fairly cool and out of direct sunlight.
4. Strain the vinegar mixture through muslin into another bowl and leave for 2-3 hours, longer if you have time and the vinegar is still dripping through.
5. When ready, pour the liquid into a stainless steel pan and add the sugar. Bring to the boil and then lower the heat for 10 minutes and simmer.
6. Scrape off any foam and leave to cool.
7. Meanwhile, sterilise the bottles with boiling water and then dry thorougly in a low oven (for about 20 minutes on 120 degrees).
8. When both the vinegar and bottles are cool, pour into the bottles and seal. Store in a cool dark place for a couple of weeks before using.

The vinegar can be added to salad dressings, sauces or used to de-glaze roasted meat tins or game pans. Some say it can even be drizzled over ice creams or sorbets, but I'm yet to be convinced...
Enjoy! :-)