Did you look carefully at those berries?
They're actually frozen loganberries because loganberry season doesn't start for another three weeks or so. (Yes, I am counting.)
A few weeks ago, I bought these berries at our favourite farm in Deep Cove, Smyth's. We'd just gotten back from Hawaii and I was desperate for interesting fruit – so far, rhubarb is the only ripe fruit on Vancouver Island.
Seeing as our freezer is roughly the size of a very small shoebox, it was quite the commitment to buy a big bag of frozen loganberries. But, oh, what fun they are! Definitely worth carving out a space in the miniature freezer for them.
So far, I've used them for waffle and ice cream toppings, deep-dish apple-loganberry pie, rhubarb-apple-loganberry crisp and now, loganberry vinegar.
This vinegar is easy as pie (actually, speaking from recent experience, easier). Just purée the logans with simple white vinegar, leave them to join forces in a cool, dark place – with a daily shake, for fun – strain, and voilà: loganberry vinegar at your service.
I know you might not have logans in your part of the world and I am genuinely sorry for you if you don't. (If you've never heard of a loganberry, it's a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry and it is, hands down, the most scrumptious berry in the world.)
However, I do believe this vinegar would work for most summer berries: strawberries, raspberries, blackberries . . . What kind of berry will you have growing near you?
In any case, with this little labour and the dirt-cheap price of white vinegar, what have you got to lose?
What to do with your loganberry vinegar? Tonight, I made a simple salad dressing with it – loganberry vinegar, walnut oil, honey, mustard, salt and pepper – and besides being a lovely pinky-red colour, it really did taste like loganberries.
I envision a summer of logan-y salads and marinades to come.
one year ago: tomato cheddar soufflé with asparagus
two years ago: chili pasta
slightly adapted from Sherri Brooks Vinton via Brett Smyth
glass jar that holds 4 cups
2 c. berries
2 c. white vinegar
First, sterilize your jar. Boil water in the kettle. Fill the jar and let it sit. After 10 minutes, pour out the water.
Use a blender or immersion blender to purée the berries and vinegar together. Pour into the jar.
Let it sit in a cool, dark place for 5 to 7 days (or longer, if you're away). Shake every day to blend the flavours.
Strain it through either a double cheesecloth or a very fine sieve (not both, or nothing happens). You might need to use a spoon to stir it and encourage the liquid to fall through.
Pour the strained vinegar into a sterilized jar or bottle. Keeps at room temperature for up to 1 year. (Please note that I haven't tested whether it keeps at room temperature for a year or not yet. If you're a nervous type, keep it in the fridge.)