In autumn, I love that the chaos of summer slowly fades away and you suddenly have permission to take it slow for a while. In spring, at least for me, that feeling inverts and every fiber of my being turns needy: craving nothing but sun, dirt and fresh air (erm, and maybe iced coffee). Spring also means time to turn over the freezer and pantry inventory before new fruit grows to take its place, as the cycle goes. How is it that I still have at least three gallon bags of raspberries in the freezer? Time to find a way to use it all up, and my friend Autumn has just the ticket.
Seriously, the arrival of Autumn Giles’ Beyond Canning couldn’t be better. I read a lot of preserving books. (Probably too many.) I have had the pleasure of meeting Autumn in person (and swapping for some of her amazing marmalade) and I can vouch that her bubbly personality and knack for amazing flavor combinations shine through every page of Beyond Canning. While I have only made one batch of Autumn’s Raspberry and Burnt Honey Gastrique, I can safely say it’s found a permanent home in my regular preservation rotation. AND I have more than a few recipes dog-eared for this upcoming preserving season. I have never before made a gastrique, and I am impressed how this one does double duty as a sauce and shrub and is even quite delicious drizzled over vanilla ice cream. Autumn was kind enough to let me share the recipe and has offered to give away a copy to one of you.
Spring is here and Autumn has written a fantastic book. I propose we celebrate with a cocktail. (I’m so predictable.) Cheers!
Raspberry and Burnt Honey Gastrique
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup honey
1 cup fresh raspberries
1. Measure the vinegar and set it aside before you start cooking the honey. Over medium-low heat, cook the honey in a medium saucepan until it darkens noticeably, about 6 minutes.
2. Carefully stir the vinegar into the hot honey. The honey will sputter a bit. Stir in a pinch of salt.
3. Add the raspberries and return the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat.
4. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the berries break apart and the mixture reduces slightly, about 10 minutes.
5. Use a fine mesh strainer to strain the liquid into a mason jar for storage in the fridge.
[Autumn goes on in Beyond Canning to provide waterbath processing instructions, if you think you’ll need them. I bet there’s no way this vinegar-based preserve will go ignored that long.]
Burnt Honey Bramble
2 oz. mulberry infused bourbon
1 oz. raspberry and burnt honey gastrique
1/2 oz. Suze gentian liqueur
1 egg white
2 dashes cherry pit bitters
2 dashes aromatic bitters
Dry shake egg white in a cocktail shaker or mason jar for about a minute. Add the bourbon, gastrique and gentian and shake for another 30 seconds. Double strain into a short glass over ice. Top with bitters and savor spring.
Catch the rest of the Beyond Canning Virtual Book Tour:
3/7: Food in Jars
3/8: Punk Domestics
3/10: Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking
3/11: Snowflake Kitchen
3/14: Good. Food. Stories.
3/15: Heartbeet Kitchen
3/16: Brooklyn Supper
3/17: The Briny
3/18: The Preserved Life
3/21: Hitchhiking to Heaven
3/22: Hola Jalapeno
3/23: Cook Like a Champion
3/24: Local Kitchen