It’s apple season and we’re all making apple pies and apple strudel and generating lots of apple scraps. While you could compost them right away, why not turn them into very useful vinegar first?
Apple scrap vinegar is a less acidic version of apple cider vinegar, so it can’t be used for canning. Still, it’s great for making dressings, homemade ketchup, or in place of vinegar in almost any cooking recipe. It’s so easy to make, too!
What you need:
- Clean utensils and a clean glass jar (1 quart or half-gallon jars work best). Don’t use metal containers.
- Non-chlorinated water (chlorine will interfere with fermentation)
- Sugar (cane sugar works especially well) - 1 tablespoon per cup of water
- Apple cores and peels
- Fill your clean glass jar about 3/4 of the way full with the apple scraps
- Mix sugar in water until the sugar dissolves
- Pour the sugar water mixture over the apple scraps leaving an inch or two of space at the top of the jar
- Cover loosely (a coffee filter is great for this) and leave in a warm dark place for about 2 weeks
- You can stir your mixture every few days. If you see any brownish scum at the top of the jar, just skim it off.
- After two weeks, strain out the apple scraps. (Feed your scraps to your chickens or add them to your compost pile) Your vinegar should have a sweet apple cider-like smell
- Leave the strained liquid to sit for another 2 to 4 weeks to develop that classic vinegar-ey tang
Once you are happy with the taste of your vinegar, you can cover it tightly and store it in the fridge. It won’t go bad. If it develops a gelatinous blob on top, you’ve developed a vinegar “mother”. A “mother” can be used to jump-start future vinegar batches or just kept in the jar while stored.
Use your new apple scrap vinegar just as you would any store-bought vinegar.
How about a quick vinaigrette?
In a jar combine:
- 1/3 cup apple vinegar
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- Salt & Pepper
- Cover and shake to mix well
Spice up your vinaigrette with some fresh thyme, oregano, or chopped garlic