Cooking

Shrubs

In the midst of the plum craziness my husband told me that he had found a recipe for this syrup that you could add to both cocktails and fizzy water for a refreshing drink.  The syrup is called a “shrub”.  Last week I finally had time to look at the recipe and try it out.  A shrub is basically a fruit flavored vinegar syrup.  So far I have come across 3 different methods for making them.

The first one I tried was for the plums.

Plums and vinegar
Plums and vinegar

I used the recipe from the kitchn It tells one how to make a shrub with any kind of fruit.  I still had plums so that was my fruit of the day.  What I liked about this recipe is that I understood the entire method.  It has you sterilize your jar (a process I a SOOO familiar with now) and heat the vinegar and pour it over your fruit.  Then you let it stand for a week or 4 until it is the desired flavor.  After that you strain and add your sugar to make a syrup.  It is almost like you are making pickled plums.  I did not add any spices, although I thought some cinnamon or ginger might be nice.  It has been a week, and the vinegar does not seem to have a strong plum flavor.  So we are leaving it for now.

I still have some pears.  Not many, but It got me thinking can one make a shrub out of pears?  The answer is YES!  I ended up using this recipe from Relish.

Pears and Ginger Macerating
Pears and Ginger Macerating

The only change I made was that I did not have fresh ginger, so I used some candied ginger.  The cool thing about this recipe is you make your pear/ginger syrup first.  You put the fruit and ginger and sugar in a bowl in the fridge overnight and then you strain out the syrup and add the vinegar.  It sits in the vinegar for a week before you use it.  No jar sterilization….

Now call me crazy, as if we did not have enough produce in my house, on Friday we helped a friend with her apples.    She has 3 trees and we live in bear country.  The bears were really breaking some branches.  So my daughters and I went to help her pick and shake the apples out of the trees.  We came home with a box fullwpid-wp-1442186373544.jpeg.  I made some apple sauce (4pints) and two 13×9 crisps that are gluten free and delicious.  I even juiced some.  We still have enough apples left for at least one more batch of apple sauce, but I am kind of tired of processing at the moment.  So of course the next logical step, is there a recipe for an apple shrub?  Well, of course there is… from Slowfood Seatle.  Interestingly, this recipe just cuts right to the chase.  You shred your apples and put them and the sugar and the vinegar in a bowl and cover it.  You leave it on the counter for two days and then strain it and put it in the fridge.

wpid-wp-1442185771713.jpeg

Three very different methods for making this syrup.  I will keep you posted as to which is the best/easiest method.  Also I can not wait to mix some cocktails.  Also I can see that this winter when they are gone I will be very sad that my fizzy water is now plain.

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