Google+ What I Made Today: The Beginnings of Verjus

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Beginnings of Verjus

Last night The Boy (the spouse) picked a couple quarts of crabapples for me. My intention for them being to make … a libation and culinary condiment called Verjus.

The other morning I was reading Common Herbs for Natural Health by Juliette de Bairacli Levy and she mentioned verjus in the crabapple section of the materia medica - just a brief mention. That sentence-or-two resonated so that it set me in motion to learn more about it, especially how to make it. It seems, like most things in life, there's are more than a few methods to creating this elixir. Some are made exclusively with not-quite-ripe green grapes (thus the name verjus, meaning green juice), some with crabapple and some a combination. Some are fermented like wine and others macerated in alcohol - and vinegar. But my research was warp speed and focused purely on coveting just enough information to get me brewing. I'm sure you can find out much more about it if you like. Me too.

So as I said, The Boy picked me some of our ripe crabapples and with a little information and a lot of intuition I set to de-stemming them.

I washed them and put them in the freezer overnight. It's one of the best ways I know of for encouraging cell wall breakdown in botanicals without heat. Even so, I processed half the crabapples to extract some juice with low heat and put the others in a gallon jar to thaw and breakdown on there own. I combined the two and now leave them to sit overnight. I imagine a bit more liquid will be evident in the morning.

Tomorrow I'll add 1/2 cup of sugar, 2 quarts of grain alcohol and 1/2 quart wine vinegar to the fruit. I'll put the jar in my dispensary with my other macerating botanicals for a few months.

I suppose that some time around Yule I'll strain it, add another 1/2 cup of sugar and let it sit a couple more weeks before seeing what it tastes and feels like. While my process of making this is my own adaptation, I understand that it is quite magical, good on salads and fruit dishes and is used in an array of meat dishes.

We shall see.

That's what I made today. Peace.


LetaMarieDesigns said...

Ahh, my Grandma Leta had Crab Apple Trees. What you are going to make with them sounds yummy. Our Gravenstein outdid itself this year. We put up 85 quarts of applesause and the tree is still burping out apples. Must admit I am tired of raking them up :) Our Pear Tree did good this year as well. Next is the walnut tree.

Tammie Lee said...

very inspiring ms. Rose.
I have some wild pithy apples... perhaps I should try something like this? hummmmm

rose of Walk in the Woods - she/her said...

Perhaps you "should," Tammy!