Scrap vinegar

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This long wet summer has seen a bumper crop of apples. This tree grows by a creek near a friends house. I collected from it last year and grabbed some again this year too. I’m experimenting with different apple recipes to use up this autumns abundance. Drying them has been an easy way to preserve. A few weeks ago my neighbor gave me a big crate of golden delicious apples and I made fruit leather with them. With the left over cores and peels from the apple leather I had a go at making scrap vinegar. It was pretty simple and turned out great! A few things to remember before starting:

  • use a sterilised jar
  • use organically grown and ideally freshly picked apples so that the good microbes are present to begin the fermenting process
  • if you’re using town water let it sit overnight before attempting the recipe to let some of the chemicals to evaporate from or it might kill the good microbes and not ferment.

Scraps of 12 apples, cores and skins

2 tablespoons raw sugar

8 cups water

optional, 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar with mother

Remove any bruised and damaged bits of the fruit. Place in all ingredients in the jar and give a good stir. Cover the mouth of the jar with a thin piece of cloth and secure with a rubber band. I added a few drops of apple cider vinegar to the cloth to sterilize the cloth and to inoculate it with good microbes. The scrap cider needs to breathe while fermenting.

Stir it once or twice a day when you remember to with a clean kitchen spoon. It should start bubbling and frothing as it ferments. A few days later it should taste like sparkling cider. You could probably strain and drink it at this point it’s pretty nice. I left mine in the jar for almost 3 weeks. If you bottle it too early it might keep fermenting which will then risk explosion if using glass. Wait until all the fruit has sunk and all the fermenting action is over. Then strain the scraps from the liquid and store in sterilized bottles in pantry for up to a year.

If you detect any fizz after bottling make sure you burp the bottle so it doesn’t explode. Burping just involves opening and closing the bottle to let the gas escape. It’s not as acidic as apple cider vinegar made from apple juice but is still pretty good.

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Passionfruit

passionfruit

Passionfruit can be difficult to grow but once its established it’s well worth it. They like morning sun and are heavy feeders. I’ve been told if you have a roast chicken put the left over chicken carcus under the vine when it’s first planted. I haven’t tried this though. My little vine got attacked when it first went in and got nibbled down to next to nothing. I got a plastic pot and cut out the bottom of it and pushed it into the soil to protect it from whatever was eating it. Eventually it started growing again. Mine is growing up the fence of the chicken run with a nectarine tree and bronze fennel to keep it company.

While it was getting established I kept a good amount of compost around the base and gave it a 9L bucket of water once a week. I used a grafted vine so had to remove any shoots that grew from the root stock. The vines only live between 4 – 7 years but can die unexpectedly at any time. If you want a continous supply of passionfruit it’s best to plant another vine once the first vine starts producing fruit.

To harvest the fruit wait for it to fall of the vine. If there are none on the ground give the vine a little shake and the ripe ones drop off. We haven’t had the problem of having too many ripen at once to worry about preserving them and they are being eaten fresh. If you are saving the seed I have heard that they are only viable for about a year.

Passionfruit kombucha

pulp of one passionfruit

1 litre kombucha

A small amount also goes a long way to flavour kombucha. Add pulp into the kombucha when doing the secondary ferment. Seal in an airtight bottle and check each day until you are happy with the flavour and the fizziness. Store in fridge when ready to drink.