I made three batches of jam this year as I usually do. But this year, I tried something new.
Last winter, I was inspired to make peach vinegar after I read the book, "The Backyard Homestead". So, I have been waiting for months for the peaches to ripen.
The process is super easy to do - especially when compared to making peach jam.
You will need the following:
1 pound of diced peaches
2 cups white wine vinegar
Non-reactive pot (stainless steel)
Sterilized 1-quart glass jar with lid
Sterilized jar(s) for the finished product
First, remove the skins from the peaches. I usually blanch the peaches in boiling water for 45 seconds, which makes the peel come off easily, but since I need so few for the peach vinegar - I decided to peel them with a paring knife.
You will need 1 pound of peaches, which is about 1 1/3 cups of diced peaches. Cut them into approximately 1" size.
In a non-reactive pan (enamel, glass or stainless steel), add 2 cups of white wine vinegar. Heat it on medium heat until you can start smelling the vapor - don't boil it.
Add the diced peaches and heat for 1 minute.
Pour the peach/vinegar mixture into a quart-sized mason jar that has been sterilized (simply submerge the jar in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes to sterilize).
After the peaches have cooled, put a sterilized cap on top and place in a dark place for 5 days.
Each day, shake the jar to help mix the contents.
After 5 days, pour out the mixture over a strainer to remove the peaches. You can see that the white wine vinegar has taken on the beautiful color of the peaches.
Although the diced peaches have been removed, the peach vinegar needs to be strained through a coffee filter to remove the remaining peach solids.
This part takes some patience, but I did figure out a short-cut.
At first the peach vinegar runs through the coffee filter quickly when first poured. Then it tapers off and slowly drips. So, I would pour it and when it slowed down - I poured the remaining mixture still in the coffee filter back into the bowl with the unfiltered peach vinegar. Then I put a new coffee filter in and poured again.
You will use quite a few coffee filters during this step.
After straining the peach vinegar - pour into sterilized jars. Store in a dark place for 2 - 3 months, or in the refrigerator for 6 - 8 months.
**After all this.... you may be wondering what you can use peach vinegar for.
It tastes wonderful when used on fruit salad and it makes a great pork glaze. Peach vinegar also make delicious vinaigrette and marinades. Some people even drizzle it over peach ice cream.
It makes a great homemade gift. You don't even have to have a peach tree - you can find them in farmer's markets or at your local grocery store. Just make sure they are ripe.
BUT, I use it for my 'TOP SECRET' Salad Dressing recipe. You can also use apple cider vinegar in place of the peach vinegar.
It has been in our family for years and I am going to break all the rules and risk being expelled from my family by sharing it with you....in a couple of days ;-)