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Sep 19 11 12:13 PM

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I try to think of something home made every year to give 
to those I love. This year I figure they all need a good drink 
of something strong.

Here is and easy recipe you make now and it will be ready for the holidays.

Some of you who live up the mountain could make a really good
raspberry or blackberry liqueur  from wild berries. 

Anyone else have any ideas ?

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#2 [url]

Sep 22 11 9:18 AM

We've been making liliko'i wine and liliko'i ginger wine - ono, really good! Also, I've been making fruit preserves - lilikoi, roselle, and gathered guavas. A boring idea for most, I'm sure, but novel for me! I'm a first-time canner. I like that I can learn a skill, use materials that would otherwise go to waste, and produce some presents at the same time. I can't wait for *all* of the ingredients in these to come from our land. Need to plant some sugar cane.

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#3 [url]

Sep 22 11 11:16 AM

No need for sugar, fruit has a lot of sweetness in it already.  I usually make fruit butters since that condenses the fruit flavor and you don't need to add any pectin or sugar or you can just add a bit of sugar for taste.  Hmm, last time it was a five gallon bucket of guava, cut in half and tossed into the big soup pot.  Just a tiny bit of water added, just enough to keep them from sticking.  Simmer on low until the fruit is mush (the pot has a thick bottom so it doesn't scorch ).  Run the fruit mash through the processor of your choice to take out the seeds and skins.  I use a "ricer" which is like a strainer on legs and it has a round wooden masher to push the fruit through the holes.  That results in guava sauce which then gets cooked down until it is thick like soft butter.  Then can it or freeze it or what have you.  Small kid time, we would put jams and jellies in jars and then put about a half inch of melted paraffin wax on top to preserve it. 

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#4 [url]

Sep 22 11 11:30 AM

Oh, I'm happy to hear that you have guava experience, chooks! I've been looking for someone to ask: what do you do about bug-infested fruit?? Around here, the vast majority of the ripe strawberry and apple guava have little larva in them, so I have to thinly slice each to find the little buggers. I find that under-ripe fruit are less likely to be infected - but they are also less sweet and, therefore, I need to add sugar (although I use less than half the sugar of typical recipes). I would love to save a whole bunch of slicing and inspection time by just cutting them in half! Do you not have infested fruit where you are? Or do you ignore the little beasties?

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#5 [url]

Sep 22 11 11:46 AM

Sounds like fun-- have you found the need to use clarifying agents in the wine? Egg whites are traditional and make a heck of a difference and I'd guess there's a lot of fruit pectin in some of that stuff. . .but haven't tried so yet.

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#6 [url]

Sep 22 11 6:52 PM

Haven't seen too many fruit flies in the guava around here, haven't a clue why.  If there are, by the time the stuff was made into fruit butter there wouldn't be anything insectoid left recognizable.  Are they edible?  If they weren't poisonous or deleterious to health in any way other than social repugnance, just cook 'em down with the fruit and hope there is more protein than you started with.  

There is so much guava around here though that I only pick the good ones so that might be where the lack of bugs comes in.

There is fruit pectin in apples, but I don't know if you find pectin in all fruits?  I just generally cook the stuff down until it is thick and then can it.  You can also cook it down until it is "leather" and just roll it up, although how you keep it after that, I dunno.

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#7 [url]

Sep 24 11 11:08 AM

No need for sugar, fruit has a lot of sweetness in it already. 



When I lived on Whidbey Island, the famous Greenbank Farms there was still in business growing their delectable loganberries and making Whidbey Loganberry Liquor. During a tour I learned they produced it by plunging fresh picked fruit directly into vats of icy vodka, which was then kept refrigerated for a month before straining and bottling. They felt that keeping it cold helped preserve the full range of delicate flavors and aromatics that are characteristic of fresh fruit. 

Since then I have made many fruit-infused liquors, including a ridiculously delicious fig potion. I typically do not add sugar to the bottle, preferring to add any desired additional sweetness before serving with a simple syrup I make from cane sugar. First, I believe that keeps the flavors brighter, and second, it allows adjusting the sweetness to taste. Otherwise, when concocting a beverage with fruit juices and an already sweet liquor it's easy to end up with an overly sweet drink. 

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