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Cherry Vinegar

2 lbs firm-ripe sweet or sour cherries
3 C white wine vinegar, rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar
6 Tbsp sugar

Rinse, stem and crush the cherries listed above. Combine them with
the vinegar in a sterilized, dry 2 quart jar of crock, being sure
they are well covered; if not, add a little more vinegar. Cover
the crock and leave the cherries to steep for a week to 10 days.

Drain the vinegar from either batch of fruit. If you're making
pickled cherries, proceed to step 4 of that recipe. (Optionally,
instead of proceeding directly to the next step below, you may want
to add to the strained off vinegar a second batch of fruit and
steep it for 3 days, then drain off the vinegar to use here and
proceed with the pickle recipe plus step 4 below.)

Strain the vinegar through a fine sieve (no need to line it) into
a stainless steel or enameled saucepan, pressing on the pulp to
obtain all the liquid. Discard the debris in the strainer. Add
the sugar to the vinegar and heat the mixture just to simmering
over medium heat; simmer it, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Cool the

Skim off any foam and strain the vinegar into one or more sterilized,
completely dry bottles. For ultraclear vinegar, before bottling,
you may want to filter it through dampened filter paper fitted into
a coffeemaker cone or a funnel. Cap or cork the bottles (use new
corks only) and store in a cool spot out of the light. If sediment
should form, it is harmless; it can be removed by filtering the
vinegar again, or by decanting it.


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