Lets recap: first we shared our homemade natural dog treat recipe, then we showed you our process in making fruit leather; both of which made for a lot of leftover apple peels and cores, so we decided to try our hand at making our own apple vinegar.
This all came about while gathering inspiration over on A Sonoma Garden for making our own natural fruit roll-ups — we stumbled across this additional how-to on how to make your own apple vinegar using 3 basic ingredients and a dash of patience, ha. We followed this tutorial word for word and are now well into the process of making our very own apple vinegar. The steps were really quite simple and again, this is a recipe that requires little to no measuring — the amount of apples used really isn't important.
We first we collected the leftover peels and cores and put them in shallow pie dishes, then added enough water to cover the scraps by about an inch or two. We added 1/4 cup sugar to each and placed a plate on top of the mixture with a smaller bowl on top of the plate to weight it down and keep the scraps submerged. Next, we covered the bowls with a tea towel and let sit for one full week — this allowed for the beginning stages of fermentation.
After one full week, we checked our apple mixture which had considerably darkened in color and formed a little mold on the liquid's surface — which is OK. We spooned off any surface mold, then drained the liquid and peels through a sieve into a large measuring pourer. We transferred this liquid into a jar, covered the rim with cheese cloth and tightly closed the lid (the cheese cloth allows the vinegar to breath and helps avoid any metal corrosion). It now will just need to sit for 6 weeks until we have vinegar!
We also found 4 smaller jars which turned out to be the perfect size to have on hand for gifts over the holidays. Mary is already brainstorming ways she can spice these up a little with seasonal labels when they are ready.
While vinegar isn't typically expensive and we rarely use much in a year's time, we were thrilled to use up the scraps from our orchard trip, learn something new and we'll feel too cool for school pulling the jar out right around Thanksgiving time. I'm thinking our homemade apple vinegar will be perfect for pouring on some fresh collards with chopped onion.
What are your favorite uses for vinegar? Let us know if you try it!