APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
I love to collect apples and in autumn there are so many wild trees here – the heritage varieties are small and every tree, or sometimes every apple, looks and tastes different. So with an abundance of spray-free skins and cores I started to make apple cider vinegar. I found this drink in winter when I was making countless lemon-ginger-honeys for a stuffy nose and I love it. Now, even my toddler will drink it.
1 tablespoon cane sugar
1 cup filtered or boiled and cooled water, plus extra if needed
Clean a 1 litre jar well and let it air dry.
Fill the jar ¾ full of apple scraps. If you are using whole apples, roughly chop them up before you put them in the jar.
Dissolve 1 tablespoon cane sugar into 1 cup of water. Pour the sugar water over the apples until they are completely submerged. Add more water if needed to make sure the apples are covered. Weigh down the apples with a plastic bag filled with water. Any apples that are exposed to the air could grow mould.
Cover with cheesecloth or a coffee filter and secure with a rubber band. Store in a dark place at room temperature (I put mine in the pantry.) Leave it for approximately 3 weeks, checking on it every few days to make sure the apples are staying under the water and to make sure no mould is growing.
After 3 weeks, it will still smell fairly sweet. Strain the apple pieces out and return the liquid to the jar. Compost the scraps.
Re-cover and put the jar back in a dark spot for another 3-4 weeks, stirring every few days.
When it has reached the tartness you like, you can put a lid on it or transfer it to a different jar with a lid and start using it.