Burned orange bitters. Awesome in cocktails, lemonade, french toast, baking, added to ice cream (or anything sweet) and occasionally added to beer in our house. This intense citrus punch adds the essence of orange while also adding a touch of smoke and deeper flavors from the charring process.
Infusing - If you can make tea or coffee you can infuse food!
|Adding flavour to liquids (alcohol and vinegar are the most common though, with special care you can impart flavor into honey and oils as well) is one of the easiest ways to preserved food. We often infuse food while making other preserves.|
Shrubs are going through an explosion in popularity across our fine land! If you haven’t heard the term before know that some refer to it as a ‘drinking vinegar’ but I think that’s a horribly unappetizing label for something so delicious. Instead I like to think of it as a local alternative to lemonade – it’s sour, bitter, tart and sweet all at the same time. And this apple shrub recipe has enough flavour to bring the boom!
Despite already sharing a booze infusion this week (the previous was for blueberry gin), I think it’s important we share the recipe for strawberry rum today as we’re precariously close to the end of strawberry season!
Unlike out blueberry recipe, this infusion adds sugar. You can omit it but sugar really helps pull juices from the berries and helps develop the flavor further.
I have wanted to infuse vodka with fruit for Christmas for years – and never got around to it. Now that I have started the process I feel silly for not doing it sooner – it was all of 10 minutes work.
For those who have been following along, you’ll know Rumtopf is essentially fruit that has been macerated in sugar and then preserved in booze (we use rum) for an extended period of time (most of my batch is more than 6 months old). I’ll put some links on the process of making it at the bottom – today’s post is for those who are preparing to crack theirs open (it’s a Holiday tradition around here).
Rumtopf is essentially a very sweet, very boozy concoction. It’s not meant for kids and there’s only so many things you can do with something with so much booze (most of them essentially amounting to ‘drink’) so I hope you’ll forgive some redundancy on this list.
Pur fruit in clean jars. Cover in alcohol. Taste a small amount each day. Strain fruit when done. Eat fruit (at night when the car is put away and you`re ok with a tipple of trouble). Close jar and seal in dark, cool place.
Infusions are that simple.
I remain reluctant to dispense saftey advise on our blog (I outlined my concerns around bloggers claiming to be safety experts in 2011). My learning is a combination of significant research, learning from others, extensive reading and practice. I try to keep sharp (and safe) by re-reading safety material and find resources like the updated version of Putting Food By and The National center for Home Food Preservation to be fanstastic resources to guide my actions.
There’s a fine line between not commenting on safety and sharing best practice. There are certain things that are generally accepted as safe and others that are generally avoided. Rather than avoiding the topic I figured that it would be a good idea to answer a few emails we’ve had about storing garlic in oil….
Infusing is a relatively simple concept with a few guidelines:
- place clean solids in liquid and wait.
- Taste as you go; the flavors will intensify – to a point. Eventually an infusion can go bitter (here’s what to do with an infusion that’s become bitter) or the solids can rot.
- Infusions happen faster in warm temperatures than cold.
- For fast infusing, chop the solids small. For longer infusions, chop them large.
In my TEDxToronto speech I ended with a pantomime demo of preserving Blueberry Gin. Since we’re coming very close to the end of blueberry season I figure it’s a great time to share some more info on this super-easy concoction!
This “recipe” takes 30 seconds or less to make and is a great example of how easy preserving food can be.
If you don’t drink booze, you can replace the gin with white wine vinegar (make sure it’s over 5% acidity; the label will tell you).