“We all reach a point where we cannot possibly eat all the fruit on the counter before they go bad and need to be thrown them in the trash. Alternatively, we may find we have a lot of leftovers from the fruit we do eat, that seemingly have no use,” says Shalom Simcha Albert, the R&D chef at Tel Aviv’s OCD Restaurant. A fruity vinegar is a great solution to add to your pantry.
Vinegar is made from a two-step fermentation process. First, yeast and sugar come together to create alcohol. Second, that alcohol is turned into vinegar through acetic fermentation. Homemade vinegar is different because it does not go through both fermentations, however, it still yields great results and does not require too much effort.
To prepare homemade vinegar you will need leftover fruit, sugar, water, and unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar. It’s important to note, that while fruit remnants and very ripe fruit are used here, any part of the fruit that you wouldn’t normally eat (pits and stems for example) should be discarded before you add the vinegar.
Vinegar loves oxygen, so it is important not to seal the jar. The contents of the jar should be able to breathe. Cover the jar with a towel and fasten with a rubber band, making sure no foreign objects find their way in while the liquids get all the oxygen they need. In order for the vinegar to continue fermenting and absorb all the fruit flavors, mix it every day, and make sure that all the fruit is submerged in the liquid and not exposed to air, so as to protect it from unwanted bacteria or mold.
7 ounces / 200 grams fruit leftovers such as peels, apple/ pear cores, guava flesh etc.
1¼ tablespoon unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1L / 1 qt jar (or a food grade plastic jar), sterilized
Towel / cheesecloth and a rubber band
Place the sugar and 1 cup water in a small pot over medium heat until dissolved. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.
Place the leftover fruit in a sterilized jar, then pour over the sugar syrup and the remaining 2 cups of water. Place a small inverted bowl on top to ensure the fruit is submerged in the liquid. Cover with a towel and fasten with a rubber band.
For the next 2 weeks: vigorously stir the fruit once a day for 30 seconds, then cover with a towel and fasten with the rubber band.
Strain the liquid, return to the jar and add the unfiltered (or unpasteurized) apple cider vinegar, to help to speed up the process. Cover with a towel and fasten with a rubber band.
Taste every week until you reach the desired acidity and flavor. Store in a bottle and keep in the pantry or refrigerated.