I've been patiently waiting to publish this post.
Some things - good things - take time to reach their optimum level of perfection.
This would be one such thing.
Vinegars take time to age & mature. You can't just dump ingredients into water & expect it to become miraculous over night. The microbes & magic need their time to work, & they really do take their slow, sweet, leisurely time!
I can tell you how this all came about though. I have been hired over at a boutique hotel here on Syros, to be the amazing in house chef. I've got the morning shift, serving up breakfast, brunch & pastries...
Can you tell I'm stoked?
Any way, in the process of designing the menu (all food items were done by a michelin-star chef, all cocktails & desserts will be by me) the chef designing the menu asked me to whip up a pear vinegar to be incorporated into the menu....
So here it is. The fruits of my labor (so to speak).
Ingredients: - 1Kg pear scraps (skins & cores), chopped - 200g apple scraps, chopped - 18g (2 tbs) black pepper corns - 1 sprig of thyme - 60ml (0.25 cups) apple cider vinegar - 2 tbs raw honey - 200g (1 cup) sugar - 4 lt (16 cups//1 gallon) water
Directions: 1. leave the pear & apple scraps out for an hour to dry & turn brown. 2. place the pear, apple, black pepper, thyme & apple cider vinegar in a large jar that fits at least 5lt of fluid (or divide everything evenly between several jars) 3. in a large pot, place the honey, sugar & water. Heat until the sugar & honey have completely dissolved. Do not heat any longer. 4. pour the sugar water into the jar containing the fruit & spices. Cover the jar with a piece of cloth secured with a rubber band. Store in a cool dark place for 2 months. 5. the mixture should be gently stirred once a day. NEVER use anything with metal to stir it. In fact, never let metal come into contact with it. 6. once the vinegar has aged sufficiently, strain out all the bits & bottle the liquid up nicely. Again, you don't want to use anything with metal as it will rust & spoil the vinegar.
Tips: *** for the pear/apple scraps, either save them over time as you eat the fruit & just freeze them until you have enough. Or, I usually buy a couple kilos of fresh pears, chop them up for the freezer. I can pull them out at any point later on & use them in baking, cooking, or for smoothies. *** *** the vinegar "mother" (the gelatinous disc that has formed in the bottom of the jar) can be stored in the fridge & used to start new vinegars. ***
If you're wondering what else I keep in my kitchen, here's a list of the basics.
Tools/ Equipment/ Machinery/ Ingredients:
Electric Scale - Etekcity - http://amzn.to/2xkKpQk
Hand Mixer - Kenwood - http://amzn.to/2xkjowh
Stand Mixer - Kenwood - http://amzn.to/2yqXPiH
Candy Thermometer - Etekcity - http://amzn.to/2xklw7k
Food Processor - Cuisinart - http://amzn.to/2xkkZqK
Blender - Kenwood - http://amzn.to/2xXQgwU
Silicone Spatula - Zyliss - http://amzn.to/2y3Srkw
Chef's Knife 8" - Miyabi - http://amzn.to/2fUtyRK
Pots & Pans:
Cast Iron Grill Skillet 10.5" - Lodge - http://amzn.to/2z2GPwi
Cake tins & Pie Plates:
Bunt Pan - Nordic Ware - http://amzn.to/2xjGB1N
Square Cake Tin - Patisse - http://amzn.to/2xkn5Ce
Springform cake tin 22cm (9”) - Farberware - http://amzn.to/2xkdQ4T
Ceramic Pie Plate- Emile Henry - http://amzn.to/2gex5qR
Cupcake Tin - Wilton - http://amzn.to/2xkp4GG
Tart Tin Loose Bottom 9.5” - Patisse - http://amzn.to/2xje3u2
Non-Slip Pipping Bags - Pastry Gear - http://amzn.to/2fLxAZ0
Pipping Tips - Wilton - http://amzn.to/2yJVPy1
Food Gels - Wilton - http://amzn.to/2kpOCky
Fondant Smoother - Wilton - http://amzn.to/2xkyZRl
Fondant Rolling Mat - The Mat - http://amzn.to/2y2bg76
Active Dry Yeast - Bob's Red Mill - http://amzn.to/2gcC2R4
Almond Flour - Bob's Red Mill - http://amzn.to/2xkP3xI
Arrow root - Bob’s Red Mill - http://amzn.to/2ycT0WF
Baking Powder - Bob's Red Mill - http://amzn.to/2xkJz5U
Bicarbonate of Soda - Bob's Red Mill - http://amzn.to/2yL7Lj4
Brown Rice Flour - Bob's Red Mill - http://amzn.to/2z1MUt1
Buckwheat Flour - Anthony’s Organic - http://amzn.to/2xjRS6T
Flaxseed Meel - Bob's Red Mill - http://amzn.to/2ybK0Rm
Millet flour - Bob’s Red Mill - http://amzn.to/2iBZqYw
Oat Flour - Bob's Red Mill - http://amzn.to/2fNUuyZ
Potato Starch - Bob's Red Mill - http://amzn.to/2yKpYgH
Tapioca Starch - Bob's Red Mill - http://amzn.to/2xjv879
Vanilla Extract Organic - Simply Organic - http://amzn.to/2xXdt2e
Vanilla Beans - Vanilla Products - http://amzn.to/2yLMqWQ
White Flour GF - Dove's Farm - http://amzn.to/2z1b5I1
Xanthan Gum - Bob's Red Mill - http://amzn.to/2zoYxuC
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