This is a relatively quick method to make a fruit vinegar. Most fruit and herbal vinegars require a maceration period of at least a week. This recipe only takes part of a day or overnight, most of which is unattended.
Peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots are the stone fruits for this vinegar, though the method can be used with berries, too. For stone fruits, the riper, or overriper the better, the flavor is that much more intense. Use as part of a vinaigrette, as a marinade, or put a tablespoon or two in a glass and fill with water, sparkling or otherwise, for a refreshing drink.
3 lbs stone fruit, pitted and roughly chopped
1 1/2 c white wine vinegar, rice vinegar, white balsamic vinegar or cider vinegar
1/4 c honey, agave, brown rice syrup or other sweetener
1. Put stone fruit, vinegar, and honey in a deep saucepan. Bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Cover if fruit flies have set up camp in your kitchen.
2. Purée, in batches if necessary, in a food processor or blender or mash it up really well with a potato masher. Put into a fine meshed sieve set over a non-reactive bowl (not aluminum) and allow to drain. Rinse sieve and line with cheesecloth. Set over another non-reactive bowl and pour strained mixture into sieve. Resist the urge to press the solids. Cover and let mixture strain for about 8 hours and even longer. For this second straining, it’s best to refrigerate.
3. When the mixture has drained well, uncover and remove sieve. Compost or discard solids. Pour vinegar into a glass bottle or jar. If capping with a metal lid, put a round of parchment or plastic wrap over the top of the jar to prevent corrosion of the metal lid. Refrigerate for storage.