Stone Fruit Shrub

I turn to this recipe when I have a handful (or more) of almost-overripe peaches, nectarines, plums or apricots that are threatening to devolve into mush if I don't do something with them right away. Shrubs are one of the easiest preservation projects around, and, whether you use a single variety of stone fruit or a combination in this recipe, it's really hard to go wrong. Simply chop the fruits and infuse them into a bright mixture of apple cider vinegar and white wine vinegar. For a subtly spiced shrub, you can add a cinnamon stick. For an herbal rendition, tuck a sprig of rosemary or basil into the mix.

By / Photography By Emily Han | June 06, 2016

Preparation

Place chopped fruit in a bowl and lightly crush using a potato masher or fork. Combine fruit, its juices and any herbs or spices in a sterilized quart jar. Pour vinegar into jar, making sure ingredients are completely submerged.

Wipe jar rim with a clean cloth. Cover jar with a nonreactive lid. Store jar in a cool, dark place for 1 week, shaking it daily and ensuring ingredients stay submerged. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and discard solids. Combine vinegar and sugar in a sterilized container with a nonreactive lid. Refrigerate for 1 week more, shaking jar daily to help dissolve sugar. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 year.

Kitchen Tip: Save your scraps. Cutting up fruit for salads, desserts or other dishes often leaves you with odds and ends. The scraps may not be pretty to look at, but they can make a fine, low-effort shrub. Simply plop the scraps into a jar of vinegar—during summer I keep one on my kitchen counter at all times—infuse for a week or two, and see what you come up with.

About this recipe

Reprinted from Wild Drinks & Cocktails by Emily Han, with permission from Fair Winds Press, copyright 2015.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups pitted, chopped peaches, nectarines, plums or apricots
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cinnamon stick, or 1 sprig basil or 1 sprig rosemary (optional)
  • 2 cups turbinado sugar
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