Monday, September 28, 2009
My Kind of Preserve
If you're looking for a quick, easy way to hold onto the flavors of the season's best, consider the hooch. A lot flavors happen to be very alcohol soluble, so a bottle of vodka can make for the perfect preserve.
Our friend the concord grape works particularly well.
In a quart mason jar I simply muddled about two cups of grapes with three tablespoons of sugar (it acts as much as an abrasive to release the flavors of the grapes as a sweetener). Then fill the jar with vodka and pop it in the freezer. Easy as that.
Note: as you can see I couldn't wait to help myself to a little bit.
Other infused vodka suggestions:
Berries: They usually need a little lemon juice in addition to the sugar, but they produce great flavor and color.
Citrus: Lemons, Limes, Orange, clementine, etc. Crushed rind and all with sugar. Sometimes I'll even puree a small portion of it to release more of the bitter in the pith (the white part), very nice to offset the sweetness.
and my personal favorite,
Chili Peppers: namely the habanero/scotch bonnet.
Alcohol is perfect to harness the true fruitiness of chilis, and some of the heat too. Just one or two is good for a whole quart of booze, along with a tablespoon and a half of sugar. If you're not a fan of heat, you can monitor the progression and remove the chilis when the heat is to your liking.