Rich, sweet and fruity, this fruit balsamic vinegar is delicious as a cordial and makes a fabulous glaze for roasted vegetables. It’s a great way of quickly preserving summer and autumn fruit gluts, whether from your garden or allotment, or from foraging in the wider countryside.
Replace the balsamic with red or white wine or cider vinegar, as you wish.
As well as the ingredients listed below, you will need a large glass jar with a noncorrosive lid, and bottles or jars for storing with noncorrosive lids.
How to identify wild fruits
Autumn is a bountiful time of fruits, when trees and bushes seem to be dripping with beautiful berries – great for both wildlife and keen foragers.
Some of these berries are safe for humans to eat, although a few (such as elderberries) do need to be cooked first. Care must be taken as there are some safe fruits which can be easily mixed up with poisonous ones. If in doubt of plant identification, do not forage.
- Soft fruit (blackcurrants, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.) 1 kg
- Balsamic vinegar 600 ml
- Unbleached granulated sugar 700g, approximately, see recipe
- Optional extras: spices or herbs: 1 cinnamon stick, piece of ginger the size of your thumb, sliced, ½ tsp cloves, 2-3 sprigs of rosemary, thyme or lemon verbena
Stephanie Hafferty is an award winning author, organic no dig kitchen gardener, writer, blogger and chef, specialising in seasonal plant based food. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge of growing and cooking to feed families and communities. Stephanie regularly writes for Permaculture Magazine and other publications, gives talks, workshops and courses on food growing, seasonal cooking and making potions for the home and garden. Find out more on her website.
This is a recipe from The Creative Kitchen, published by Permaculture, £19.95.
Main image: Homemade raspberry vinegar and fresh raspberries. © Getty