Cranberry Vinegar

Total Time:
1 hr 40 min
Prep:
20 min
Inactive:
1 hr
Cook:
20 min

Yield:
about 3 cups
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 1 bag fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/4 cup vanilla scented sugar syrup, recipe follows
  • Pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup Champagne vinegar (6 percent acidity)
  • Vanilla Scented Syrup:
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 vanilla beans, minced, or 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves only
Directions

Put cranberries, syrup and salt in a pan and heat over high heat until cranberries begin to pop. Remove from heat, let cool and then puree in a blender. Add vinegar and taste for balance. Add more vinegar and thin with water if necessary. Strain through a fine strainer into a bowl or pitcher. Store in a clean jar or bottle (do not use metal lids or tops) and refrigerate. Keeps several weeks.

Vanilla Scented Syrup:

Keep this syrup on hand to add to iced tea and other cold drinks or for poaching fruit. It does not need to be refrigerated. The vanilla is minced to make sure all its flavor is extracted into the syrup.

Put the sugar, water, vanilla beans, a pinch salt, and the thyme leaves in a pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to a simmer and cook about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool. Puree syrup in a blender until vanilla beans are thoroughly chopped into the syrup. Strain through a fine strainer into a sterilized jar. If using vanilla extract instead of beans, add extract after the sugar syrup has cooled and pour into a jar. Seal tightly.

Yield: 4 1/2 cups

About Sterilizing Jars:

Properly handled sterilized equipment will keep canned foods in good condition for years. Sterilizing jars is the first step of preserving foods.

Tips:

Jars should be made from glass and free of any chips or cracks. Preserving or canning jars are topped with a glass, plastic or metal lid, which has a rubber seal. Two-piece lids are best for canning, as they vacuum-seal when processed.

To sterilize jars before filling with jams, pickles or preserves, wash jars and lids with hot, soapy water. Rinse well and arrange jars and lids open sides up, without touching, on a tray. Boil the jars and lids in a large saucepan, covered with water, for 15 minutes.

Use tongs when handling hot sterilized jars, to move them from boiling water. Be sure tongs are sterilized too, by dipping the ends in boiling water for a few minutes.

As a rule, hot preserves go into hot jars and cold preserves go into cold jars. All items used in the process of making jams, jellies and preserves must be clean. This includes any towels used, and especially your hands.

After the jars are sterilized, you can preserve the food. It is important to follow any canning and processing instructions included in the recipe and refer to USDA guidelines about the sterilization of canned products.


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