It may be hard to visualize given Summer's solid grip right now, but in a few months, we'll be indoors, seeking respite from the cold and washing away the Winter fruit shortage with little more than apples and oranges for comfort. So what's a girl to do?
Take a hint from Kate Kiernoziak, sous chef at San Francisco's Credo Restaurant: stock up on stone fruits, berries, and melons at the farmers market, then pickle them while they're still at their seasonal peak so you can enjoy them any time of year, rain or shine.
Keep reading for tips on making your own extraordinary-tasting pickled fruit.
- Use the freshest fruit you can, sourcing it directly, if possible. Try to avoid waxy supermarket fruits.
- Keep your fruit cold in the refrigerator until you're ready to pickle it; this guarantees the fruit will maintain its crisp texture.
- Always taste the fruit you're pickling to ensure that you're working with sufficient levels of sugar and acidity.
- Create a pickling liquid that's a ratio of three parts water to one part vinegar.
- For dark fruits, like grapes and berries, try subbing wine in place of water for another layer of flavor.
- Make sure the jars that you use are well-sanitized, either in boiling water or in a dishwasher, which has a high-temperature sanitation cycle.
- Try adding in fresh herbs as well. For example, throw in a sprig or two of rosemary to a jar of blueberries pickled with red wine.
- Use a generous helping of sugar or honey to balance out the acidity of the vinegar.
- When sealing your jars, be sure that both the lid and lip of the jars are dry. This guarantees a proper seal.
- Take risks with ingredients! Create interesting flavor profiles, like ginger- and Moscato-pickled lychees. It makes the process more fun.
Of course, don't forget to use proper canning methods as well. Personally, I'm looking forward to putting these tips to the test on plums, peaches, apricots, and other stone fruits, not to mention watermelon rind. Have you ever tried to pickle fruit at home?