Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Jellies and Shrubs - March Challenge

Mango, Szechuan Peppercorn, Kaffir Lime Leaf Shrub - Tami Young - see recipe below
A group of us are participating in the Food In Jars Mastery Challenge hosted by Marisa at Food in Jars and the March challenge was JELLY OR SHRUBS. Wait? What? What the heck is a shrub?

According to Rodales's Organic Life shrubs are "Derived from the Arabic sharab, meaning “drink,” a shrub is a zingy libation of fruit and sugar steeped in vinegar. People have enjoyed versions of these concoctions the world over—from colonial America, where sailors used them to prevent scurvy, to modern Asia, where people sip drinking vinegars as a health tonic. The shrub was one of America’s first drinks, kept without chilling and imbibed by settlers as an alternative to water, which was often unsafe. Popular through the 18th and 19th centuries, shrubs fell out of fashion after modern refrigeration eliminated the need for shelf-stable beverages."

The Huffington Post even had an article on "How to Make a Shrub aka The Secret to Cocktails That Taste Like Summer."  "Shrubs started as a household practicality. Back before refrigeration, fresh fruit would spoil quickly, but you could extend its life by piling it into a big crock with some sugar. The juice that came off the fruit was redolent with the bright flavor of the fruits in the crock, and after a few weeks it would ferment into vinegar."

So off we set to make either jelly or shrubs. While most chose to make jelly, a few brave souls tried making shrubs and are now all fans of this fruit, sugar and vinegar beverage.

See our results and recipes here:

Balsamic Vinegar Jelly with Onions Seeds - Sue Harris -
Jams 'n' Pans

Cantaloupe, Orange and Coriander Shrub - Pamela Gram -
The Pitt Stop BBQ, LLC

Cherry Jelly - Lynn Vining -
Southern with a Twist

Pepper Jelly - Anne Marshall-Candeloro

Pomegranate Molasses Shrub - Nikki Carriere

Porter Beer Jelly - Sue Burns -
It's Ok to Eat the Cupcake

Satsuma Mandarin Orange Pepper Jelly  - Mary Marshall -
Cooking with Mary and Friends

Mango, Szechuan Peppercorn, Kaffir Lime Leaf Shrub - Tami Young (from top photo) recipe:  

4 cups peeled and chopped mango
4 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorn
2 inch piece ginger, sliced
2 Kaffir lime leaves

Put mango, ginger, peppercorns and Kaffir lime leaves in a sterilized jar. Bring the apple cider vinegar to a hard boil and pour over fruit mixture. Cap it with a sterilized lid and let sit on counter overnight. Refrigerate for 4 days. Strain solids out of vinegar then strain vinegar through a coffee filter into a clean pan. Add 2 cups sugar and bring to a boil. Shrub is ready to bottle. This shrub can be refrigerated for 6 months. It's not going to last that long for me! I made a delicious drink with a shot glass of shrub pored over ice and added coconut water to fill the rest of the glass. Yum! Tart and refreshing!


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