Bilberry Shrub

huckleberry-heart-by-john-ashley

Shrubs are like syrups made with a healthy dose of vinegar. Most often flavored with fruit, shrubs are the grown-up answer to syrups. Shrub can be used in many of the same places as syrup, such as in fizzy water and cocktails, or to dress fruit salads, but the vinegar used to make shrub gives it a perfect punch of sour meets sweet.

There are some shrubs that I prefer to make with fruit that has never been cooked, only macerated with sugar. However, I think it is easier to maximize the flavor and amount of juice in bilberries by making a cooked syrup.

Preparation time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

  • 1 part fruit (all parts by volume, not weight)
  • 3 parts sugar
  • 1 part water
  • Rice vinegar or other light clear vinegar, equal in measure to the amount of bilberry syrup

Directions:

1. In a pot, lightly crush the bilberries together with the sugar, and let them sit for an hour.

2. Add the water, and bring the bilberries to a boil. Being such small berries, this is all they need to cook. Remove the pan from the heat, and let the bilberries cool to room temperature.

3. Strain out the solids from the bilberry syrup, and be certain to save them to put atop ice cream or your morning toast.

4. Measure the syrup, and combine it with an equal amount of rice vinegar. Stir gently to combine. Pour the shrub into mason jars, and store them in a very cold pantry or refrigerator for at least six months before serving. Once aged, the sharp edges of the vinegar will soften and become the perfect balance for the fruit.

Found at: Zester Daily

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